Should students vote for Teacher of the Year?

Allie Henderson

Teacher of the Year is decided only by teachers. But why? Why can’t students who have a say? After all, students interact with their instructors and know how their effectiveness in the classroom. Even if each grade gets to vote , their would be six extra votes that involve the students.

“The reason I think we have just teachers do it is because there are standards that teachers look for in other teachers that are published before we vote. I certainly think students could understand those if given to them,” math teacher Jill Whitacre said. “I imagine the thing that people  would worry about is it turning into a popularity contest, which sometimes happens when teachers vote too.”

Each school conducts its Teacher of the Year campaign differently. While some schools allow staff to vote for Teacher of the Year, West Shore does not even though teachers can vote for Employee of the Year.

Principal Rick Fleming said he’d be open to expanding the voting pool.

” I think it should be weighted,” he said. “I think not only should it be students, but it should be parents as well. Parents are the ones  who see students at home and how much work their doing and if their inspired by their teachers. You could have administration weighting in terms of their performance in the classroom and have colleages weigh in too because right now its just a popularity contest. I think the students’ voices should be heard.”

Barbara Davis, a recruiter for Brevard Public Schools who coordinates the Teacher of the Year contest for the district, said she’s not willing to expand the voting to that degree.

“It is the voting of the peers,” she said. ” Maybe the students could vote for the finalist of Teacher of the Year.”

By Allie Henderson