TLE Newsletter-- August

August 2016

Start Your Evaluation Year the Right Way

The beginning of a new school year brings with it much excitement and anticipation for all that will be accomplished.  Although teacher and leader evaluations play a minor role in the functionality of school, the beginning of a new school year is a great time to assess your evaluation process and strive to make the work you put into it result in a better education for students.  As a self-assessment of your process, consider the following questions:

Does your process for setting up classroom observations work well for your faculty?

  • In some schools, evaluators give notice regarding upcoming observations while in other schools the entire process is a surprise.  While one method isn’t superior to the other, it is important to receive feedback from your faculty to ensure that the evaluation process isn’t viewed as a “gotcha” system.

Are you using walk-through observations?

  • While they aren’t mandatory, regular classroom walk-throughs can help an evaluator with gaining a clearer picture of how a learning environment functions on a regular basis.  Walk-throughs, coupled with formal observations, can help ensure a more thorough evaluation experience for everyone.

What role do artifacts play in your evaluation process?

  • Artifacts are not required in the evaluation progression, but they can still play an important role in helping participants highlight the work that takes place at the school.  Offering suggestions of worthwhile artifacts can save time and energy as well as reduce stress.

Is your written feedback constructive?

  • Whether a participant is struggling or excelling, the type of written feedback provided on an observation or evaluation can make all the difference.  Rather than copying directly from the rubric, an evaluator should strive to offer specific feedback that is constructive and valuable to the participant.

How worthwhile are your post-conferences?

  • Arguably, the most important part of the evaluation process is the post-conference meeting.  This is the opportunity to spend one-on-one time focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of an educator.  This meeting should be timely, but not rushed.  The goal is to share information which will lead to a better learning environment at each school.

As we continue to move toward a performance-driven evaluation system, it is important for each evaluator to assess his/her process and ensure that TLE has value to all those it affects.