Teaching in New Zealand during the ratemyteacher.com phenomenon of 2007 gave me an interesting insight in the crazy couple of months it produced- emergency staff meetings, cries of banning the website within the school, (which was done in my previous school and many throughout New Zealand) one primary school teacher I know was going to write the names of all her students on the whiteboard and over the course of the week anyone could write anything they liked under their classmates names, it would be remain anonymous and be left on the whiteboard for the year. This she told me got a great discussion going on the ease with which anonymity can create throw away comments and how many young people don’t see the long term impacts posts and comments can have on people years down the track.
I went back through my own ratemyteacher profile and come across a couple of gems, I particular like the spelling on the comment below, for the record I did not teach this student English. I wonder how this would have impacted my last job search had my current school investigated me through the site like Seth suggests in his blog httpwww-ratemyteachers-com.
We all know that you are always going get this kind of reaction from some students in certain schools and although I found this comment amusing I got a good range of positive comments (probably from my mum) and also useful feedback on ways I could improve my own practice. However I remember at the time some new young teachers becoming very upset about some of their the feedback and in one school in our city a women was the lowest rated teacher in the country because of a hate campaign created by a group of teenage boys, she later left the profession. I guess my concern is what kind of impact could an open forum like ratemyteacher have on someone starting out in an already tough profession in a state school system?
To review I would have questions about a “rate my international teacher” site based on the ratemyteacher model suggested my Utech in his blog- Private footsteps. Not only would the anonymous nature of such a site create potential problems around validity, its platform as a place for disgruntled teenagers to vent could be damaging.