I’m amazed by the business model and unique functionality of UBER. It is very interesting to me, to say the least. The UBER model utilizes a rating system for both the driver and the passenger. Both go hand-in-hand and they are meant to establish a higher standard of experience for everyone involved. While any rating system will always have flaws, in what ways can we think about UBER in terms of the quality of instruction and service we provide to our students? Would we want our students to rate each lesson we carry out or provide feedback on the school-wide assembly that we organize for everyone? Should we gather student feedback and be committed to activating student voice in everything that we do in order to increase the standards of a better experience for all?
Here are the 3 categories that UBER drivers use to rate their passengers, each using a 5 star system:
The passenger does not make demands to drive faster or make complicated (or even illegal) maneuvers in the car in order to save driving time. A seat-belt is worn at all times and nothing is done to distract the driver from getting them safely to their destinations.
The passenger is nice and respectful. They treat the Uber car the way that they would want their own car treated. They don’t eat a slice of pizza and get sauce on the seats and they certainly don’t puke in the UBER car after drinking too much alcohol.
3. Short Wait Times
Passengers alert the UBER drivers accurately as to where they are and they’ve entered their location correctly in the app. for easy pick up. They do not roam anywhere else while the UBER car is headed for them and they do not decide to head someplace else knowing that their car is coming.
What if we instituted the same 3 categories (now, with a classroom twist) so our students can give their teachers feedback:
Teachers and school leaders are nice and respectful. They don’t yell, berate, use sarcasm, or emotionally abuse students. They know the procedures for protecting children from any harm and they make sure that the learning environment is safe at all times. They check their environments for safety standards each day. Students provide feedback about creating safe environments.
Teachers don’t eat in front of students while they are teaching, unless there is enough food for the entire class. During fire drills or classroom instruction, cell phone calls are not taken unless there is an emergency. Texting friends and family members during a lesson does not take place unless there is a crisis. Teachers are nice, not mean. Students provide feedback about those who are courteous and those who aren’t.
3. Short Wait Times
Teachers do not wait long periods of time to provide student feedback. Feedback is not simply a number or a percentage. Teachers are focused; they know where they are in both content and pedagogy, but they value student led learning and inquiry. They are not closed-minded and they engage in personalized PD each day, not a few times each year. Students provide feedback about focused classrooms and schools because their voices MATTER.
I’m honored to say that when I travel to other states to speak or carry out PD, UBER has given me a 5 star rating as a passenger. I try to be a good passenger because I respect those who will get me to where I need to go safely and I’ve never puked in an UBER car, either.
Can we open up outlets for student voices to make our schools better than they already are? Would we receive 5 stars from our students because we value the 3 categories that UBER uses to raise standards of quality as we work hard each day to get students to reach their own destinations with our care and assistance? Are we the navigators that we would want, ourselves?
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