Not RateMyTeacher…but

If you are a teacher you have visited Admit it. And if you are a parent of a kid in middle or high school, chances are you have visited the site also as soon as you began thinking about classes for the coming year or soon after you received the new semester schedule.

I don't put much stock in it (though if I am going to be rated, I am glad to see I am listed a 4.9 out of 5). More often than not it seems those who write such reviews do so with an intent to kill or at least maim. I do, however, like the idea of rating myself, measuring the game I played against the one I imagined.

Years ago reporters found out that Wilt Chamberlain, who many argue was the greatest basketball player of all time, gave himself a score out of 5 after each game. Someone learned that he apparently never gave himself higher than a 3. Reporters began asking him after games, "So Will, what did you give yourself for tonight's game?"

Apparently he never gave himself a 5, not even for the game in which he scored 100!

What I like about the notion is that we are always competing against ourselves, trying to be better today than we were yesterday, doing what we can through such reflections to play a better game.

In one of his last interviews, John Lennon said he never listened to the old Beatles albums: All he could hear were the errors, the ideas he didn't come up with at the time but could never add. The point here is that John Lennon and Wilt Chamberlain became the the great ones they were by never settling, never settling for good enough.

When Tiger Woods was asked what went through his mind when he walked down the fairway as a young golfer, he said he always imagined himself walking along with Jack Nicklaus on one side and Arnold Palmer on the other, wondering what they would say, how they would play a certain shot. He also thought about what he needed to do to become worthy of walking down the fairway with them, to be worthy of being in their company.

Who are your role models, the ones you want to be worthy of walking down the hall with in your imagination? And that class today, the one you thought went so well: What would you rate yourself? I give myself a 3 today. It was a really good class.

Here is a video clip from third period.

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Not RateMyTeacher…but”

  1. I have to say the biggest quibble I have with Rate My Teacher is that one of the criteria is “easiness.” Am I a good teacher necessarily if students think my class is easy, or should it be challenging? I think they need to refine the criteria to something along the lines of how much I learned or how accessible the teacher made learning.
    That said, I don’t think I’ve been rated since I taught middle school, and I give myself a 2 out of 5 as a middle school teacher. I was not good at that level. I like the idea of regular reflection, and I think it’s wonderful you built that space into the Daybook, although I admit I usually use my blog for that purpose.

Custom design by