Teacher evaluations are your opportunity to voice complaints


Many people have problems with a professor and/or class. Fewer people take the time and energy to put their frustrations to good use by seriously filling out teacher evaluations at the end of each semester.

As found on NIU’s Web site: “University Policy requires that a student assessment of teaching effectiveness be completed for every undergraduate class, every Fall and Spring semester.

This assessment is an important aspect of evaluating faculty members for matters of salary, promotion and tenure.”

With how much many students have to say about their teachers and classes – often in the form of frustrated and unproductive ranting to friends – one would think the chance to provide feedback to teachers and administrators would be met eagerly by students. Ironically, this is often not the case at all.

In fact, on evaluation days, many students can be heard groaning, sighing and even outright mocking and criticizing the evaluation process. It is an unfortunate anomaly how some students who obviously have much to say about their teachers and classes often seem to be displeased with, or even offended by, the generous opportunity to provide NIU with their thoughts.

A lot goes into providing NIU students the opportunity to tell their teachers and their teachers’ bosses what they think about their performance as a teacher or the class in general.

And if these evaluations weren’t taken seriously by NIU faculty and staff, then there wouldn’t be as much time and energy put into them as there is. Teachers read them – think about it, if you were a teacher, wouldn’t you want to know what your students thought about you?

The point is, students who blow off these evaluations as formality or bureaucracy are only fooling themselves. And not only are they fooling themselves, they are depriving themselves of the voice and representation their paid tuition guarantees.

If you have something you’d like to tell your teacher about a class – something you might be uncomfortable telling them in person – then tell them in your anonymous evaluation.

It’s not like you have to sacrifice your personal time to do them, as they are done right in class – time you’ve already committed to being there.

Some students view evaluations as a waste of time and spend their energy complaining about it to friends and classmates until the teacher returns. But while they’re “not wasting” time complaining and talking to friends like high schoolers in study hall, more mature students are busy “wasting” their time in an effort to help their teachers improve as instructors and professors.

As a college student, you are obviously looking to become a mature, educated adult. So obviously, you will take the time and energy to tell your teachers how you feel they did.

It’s your voice and your representation, and you pay a pretty penny to have it. So don’t waste it.