Thursday, February 24, 2011

Teacher Evaluation: Part 4 (Final piece)

Final Piece:

Having been evaluated by adminsintrators for 10 years, and seeking to understand teacher evaluation better I'm still wrapping my brain around what are considered "best practices."  Somethings I believe, some things I know, and some things I think you find out on the job, doing the job.  Much like coming out of undergrad into a classroom there is no set design on how to evaluate teachers.  There are some amazing tools that districts have created but there are no universally agreed on structures.  So how is an educational leader to proceed?

Over the last few Blog posts I've been wrapping my brain around what it means to "evaluate a teacher."  I've have lots to learn and much more research to do, but some of the things i have learned will/might beneift others and open conversations.

My final installment on Teacher Evaluation:

Knowledge base is key 

This gives you common language and a common place to being conversations and bring about change.

Create Capacity

Creating capacity means enhacing the ability to move a school, teacher and community forward.  Creating the right environment for growth to occur, similar to tending for a plant (water, sunlight, oxygen, etc.).  Sir Ken Robinson had a great TED talk on this and is still something that I consider to be the foundation of revolution within our education system.

Have a Plan  

Without a plan you may have growth, but it will be by accident.  Doug Reeves created the Leadership for Learning framework (below) and I cannot think of a better explanation of how professional development and teacher evaluation commingle to assess student achievement.

Teacher evaluation is a great opportunity to assess fidelity of implementation of your school or district's mission and vision.  It provides you with an opportunity to assess if your professional development is working on a whole, or if you are 'just lucky.'

Profesional development plan

  • Jointly determine goals with agreed upon steps to strengthen skills
  • Provide mentoring when needed or asked.
  • Provide a timeline for reevaluation.

Ensuring Teacher Quality

  • Creditability in the system used to evaluate teachers (How's your PBTE?)
  • Be able to answer the statement: Here’s how I know we have good teachers…
  • Consistent definition of good teaching
  • Shared understanding of good teaching
  • Have skilled evaluators
  • Promote professional development
  • Develop a program for evaluators that Familiarizes self with the structure and framework for teaching, Planning and preparation, Classroom environment, and Instruction.

Professional responsibilities

  • Ability to recognize sources of evidence for each coponent and element
  • Able to interprete the evidence against the rubrics fr each component level of performance
  • Calibrate judgements agains those of the collagues ( adminsotrs collaborate on what good teaching means to them.)


  • Tomorrows leaders of our community meeting – Teacher evaluation: Chris Lindquist
  • ASCD article – Evaluations that help teachers learn
  • ASCD Education Update Vol 52 no.12 – Teaming up to lead instruction

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