Inquiring Minds: Teacher evaluations’ true value

Yes, it’s that time of the semester again. Group projects are in full swing, term papers will be due soon, and students will soon fill out those evaluations that take forever to complete.

At least, students think they take forever to complete. In reality, they take more like five minutes to fill out, a five minutes that may be the most important five minutes students spend in the class.

For those professors handing out the evaluations, five minutes could mean the difference between keeping and losing their jobs.

Students do not think they are doing anything significant when they fill out those evaluations. After two or three, the forms start to run together and can become downright boring. When combined with the student’s driving passion to spend an extra few minutes on Facebook or with friends, careless, hastily completed evaluations become a regular event.

But for students who love to tell their friends their thoughts on a certain professor, these evaluations should be the avenue they use to direct those thoughts where they can make a difference.

Student input is greatly taken into consideration by the administration and can sometimes determine whether or not a professor should remain at Eastern. Professors have lost jobs because of evaluations. The job of your favorite professor may be on the line.

That gives students a great deal of responsibility and voice concerning the classes and professors they are taking. The evaluations are not only there for critique but also to help the administration see what is going right. The evaluations are an opportunity to speak about a good professor or class.

They can be a way not only to critique professors but to pay the good ones honor. Having the opportunity to fill out these evaluations should be considered more of a privilege than an inconvenience. They empower the students to express their thoughts.

Evaluations help ensure that Eastern continues to hire and keep professors who can give us an excellent education. Those five minutes are worth it.

Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It is written by the managing editor and the editor-in-chief.

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