Dear School Leader,
|Cartoon by Dan Piraro, Bizarro!|
You surely noticed the elephant at the the kick-off to the school year staff meeting. He was the one sighing as we moved through PowerPoint slides detailing the formula used to determine our effectiveness as teachers.
We have a teacher evaluation problem to deal with as a staff.
|GUMBY By Highlimitzz, Flickr|
- Can we talk about the teacher evaluation process and what it means to you as a leader in our school district?
- Can we break down the walls, get past the legalize and get some assurances from your heart and your experience as an educator that we will use the evaluation tool to inform best practice?
- How can we re-think and use the mandated teacher evaluation process so that it helps teachers improve and helps students learn?
Our staff wants to hear from you and we want to know what you value and expect from our staff. You are an educational leader with expertise in leading teachers and running a school. Quality teachers are supportive of an evaluation process that promotes growth. We are begging for an opportunity to be heard and to gain insight into your ideas about how we can build a growth mindset and a collaborative learning culture together. We understand that it will take work, teacher leadership and new ideas to make this process the best it can be for our school. Let's roll up our sleeves, potentially make a mess of it, grow with it and roll with it and do this together.
Sharing your expertise and your stance will help your teaching staff understand that you too are navigating a windfall of challenges and your aim is to keep students as the top priority. The evaluation has to support that mission, both in theory and in practice. Teachers want to be part of meeting this important challenge.
- Can we invite teacher leaders to have some say in the evaluation process and to take some responsibility for making it better?
- Can we work together to re-frame the evaluation process as something that can help our staff and not divide us? We want desperately to give the process more credibility, and we also feel defeated using an evaluation tool that no one seems to understand and a process that is inconsistent.
- Can you help us understand the role of the evaluation process in our school? We get nervous about re-assignments or lay-offs based on evaluations that many of us fail to find professional value or understand.
- Three Reasons Why Observations are a Waste of Time by Peter DeWitt