What Students Want
With school site evaluation having been recently revised to reflect more factors than merely a single test score, it is time to broader teacher evaluations to reflect this multifaceted approach to any single entity. This holistic view is a better way for us to view all individuals and groups, since we are complex and varied, and a single numerical value system is necessarily extremely limited.
For example school climate is a huge factor in the wellbeing of students teachers and admin, and has been included in the current name of new system. How people feel in a given environment, whether safe or threatened, can literally affect IQ (cite Aaronson). Safety also has many elements to it, from the most basic safety from physical threat, to feeling safe from emotional, or identity challenge and judgment both in and outside the classroom.
What is missing from this evaluation is students’ view of their school’s performance, based on their own value system and needs. In the high schools where I do my research, students express a desire to feel cared about and known by their teachers, as well as having a deeper relationship where they know about their teachers lives and interests.
While students do want to feel they are learning and in a “competitive” academic environment with high standards, they claim to work harder, even in subjects they don’t normally enjoy, if their teachers know and care about them.