Teacher assessment system
Mr. Jeong, one of my colleagues who teaches art, was exasperated, showing me a paper where his evaluation score by students was the lowest.
The reason that he got so angry was due to the absurd evaluation. As an art teacher, he had always prepared all the materials necessary for students and taught them his best.
As I asked to see the evaluation paper he showed it to me, explaining that his teaching process should have been evaluated higher in each of the evaluation categories.
Nevertheless, as the decisive reason for not being evaluated objectively, he told me that he works on a department guiding principle of rules in school.
He was always strict and fundamental.
For example, if a rule was made by the school, he tried to keep it and applied to it to all students, all of the time. Most teachers are lenient toward students' behavior or appearance and get better scores on evaluations as a result. In that point, teachers except Jeong were derelict of their duties.
Teachers’ evaluations by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology have been carried out since 2010. Their main purpose was to make progress in the students' test scores by improving teachers' teaching skills and the expulsion of unqualified teachers.
They might partly contribute to the improvement of students' scores, but it has caused negative effects. Teachers' evaluations based on scores has caused teachers to disregard students' human education, their principle of life, extra-curricular activities, and so on.
For instance, even though students violate rules or are rude, they are pardoned due to their high scores. Also, multiple club activities have been reduced in the name of creating a greater school.
As a result, numerous students who have displayed talent and passion through various activities at schools, which used to provide an outlet to expend their energy, are now piled up with energy like magma.
Still worse off are students in middle or high school, the so-called ``IMF generation.” Their parents have lost their jobs or have work longer hours under the economic adjustment enforced in return for a bailout fund from the International Monetary Fund. They have lived in unlimited competence. As a result, a lack of communication or principle of life in a family has caused students' serious problems.
In this situation, school violence and bullying may just be a side effect of the ministry policy of ``scores are everything."
This year, most teachers evaluated the lowest in middle and high schools in the South Jeolla Education Office are from those who worked at guidance departments.
At first, their stereo-typed guidance might cause them to be assessed low, but students' rude and distorted personalities have probably prevented teachers' abilities from being rated rightly.
Though teachers' evaluation is an alternative, it may be a double-edged sword. In other words, if a society highlights a teacher's ability only as a score, teachers can easily ignore education for students' personality, behavior, and so on. More closed standards means that it will get more difficult to control students.
In this situation, the way of evaluating teachers through students or parents needs to be ameliorated more objectively.
Recently, the education ministry said that the prestige of teachers should be restored after ceaseless school violence. It's rhetoric to say so without making a system to control students' delinquency effectively.
It's time to develop more alternatives for evaluating students and teachers.
The writer is an English teacher at Yeosu Girls’ High School in South Jeolla Province. His email address is email@example.com.