I looked up my rating on http://www.ratemyteachers.com/ and luckily did not find any bad reviews on me. There were a couple of ratings from 5 years ago when I used to teach high school, but none since I have been teaching middle school. This is probably an issue for high school teachers, but if middle school students find out about this, they would even more likely use this site inappropriately. Part of me likes the idea of kids being able to have some input in the process. We have all seen those really bad teachers who really should not be in the business, but it really should be the administrators who get rid of them and find a healthier way to get student input. This website opens up some real problems with students who just happened to be angry that day.
I have to admit, if I were an administrator I would check this website before I hired anyone. If I saw many disgruntled students it would indicate to me a risk to hire that teacher and many good reviews could mean a very well liked teacher that might be a great asset to our school. But we know that the students who are upset are most likely to fill out the review and those that are content might not bother to write anything. Teachers could also make reviews themselves that make them look good. This website is a great example of how information on the internet can be abused and just plain wrong. Of course, I like the idea that some positive reviews written about me will be on the internet for many to find, but there will always be a fear that some student will make a negative post about me that will also be there forever. Of course, I might do something that needs criticism, but we all make mistakes and we should not have those mistakes follow us publicly for the rest of our lives. Is there some legal action that teachers can take to protect them from this kind of libel? It seems to me that the damage done to teachers by this website could be very significant.