Rate My Professors

Faith Gates

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The Santa Rosa Junior College ranked fifth in the nation on the 2013-2012 Top Junior and Community Colleges list for ratemyprofessors.com.

Although students use the site to post reviews of their instructors for potential class selection, teachers don’t always feel it gives a complete review on them.

Rate My Professors was founded in 1999 and is the largest site for professor ratings from over 8,000 colleges and 1.8 million teachers. It has over 15 million ratings for teachers. Because Rate My Professors is a forum, reviews range in content, relevancy and word choice. Reader beware.

The site determined the “Top 25 School List” by professor ratings as well as overall school rating. They combined both categories to determine which schools students preferred.

SRJC wasn’t on the “Top 25 School List” last year, but was in 2011.

On Rate My Professors a student can give a 0-5 scale rating for easiness, helpfulness, clarity and overall quality of a professor. A student can also rate the school by reputation, location, opportunities, library, campus, Internet, food, clubs and events and happiness on a 0-5 scale.

Students leave comments ranging from “Quite possibly the greatest teacher, no, the greatest man, to ever walk this earth,” to “Her British accent makes it impossible not to pay attention to every word she speaks.”

SRJC math teacher John Martin says although it is a good source, students shouldn’t just look on Rate My Professors but get other sources. “On there you only get the people that absolutely loved you or had a bad experience,” Martin said.

SRJC history teacher Sal Diaz agrees with him saying it isn’t a fair assessment when only some people go there. “Usually the only people that write on there are bored or have a gripe.” Diaz said.

“I agree it’s helpful, but I think it’s wrong to go online and write mean things about someone anonymously. It’s ethically wrong,” said SRJC English teacher Anne Marie Insull.

Diaz says he hasn’t checked his ratings in six years, while Martin says he only does it once a year and Insull has never checked it.

“I know if I read just one negative comment, I would focus on just that one,” Insull said.

Insull suggested a Rate My Students site for the teachers. “Why shouldn’t we be able to talk about them? It should go both ways.” Ratemyprofessors.com does include a “Professors Strike Back” section where professors can respond to their reviews with videos.

One Rate My Professors user described Martin as “a math-tortured mister rogers from the sixth dimension.” His response to that was just a laugh. “That’s OK, I like Mr. Rogers. I used to watch his show,” Martin said.

Diaz was described as “a chill dude (with a dope beard).” In response to that he laughed and said, “OK now students are going to think, ‘Oh that dude has a dope beard, I’m going to take him.’”

A student also described as “can’t tell when he is serious or joking.” Diaz laughed before saying, “I like that, but my students are going to be like, “Oh no were the Greeks really real? Were the Chinese really that mean? I can’t tell if he is serious or not!’”

There is also a “hotness rating” students give professors. The ratings are averaged and if there are more “hots” than “nots,” the teacher receives a chili pepper on their page.

When Martin heard he had a chili pepper it made him laugh and say, “I don’t know how that got there!”

Diaz did not have one. “Oh well, I can live with out a hotness rating,” he said.

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