Analyzes at least two approaches to teacher evaluation in schools or school districts
For the first and second year of my school, we adopted an approach called “Formal Evaluation”. It was carried out once per semester, there are pre and post conferences for the evaluation, the teacher and the administrator who is evaluating the teacher can sit down and discuss the evaluation. For the pre-conference, the evaluator will be informing the teacher about the different aspects he/she will be evaluating, and the post-conference the evaluator will be discussing the categories the teacher has been put into and whether the teacher agrees with the placement. For the first year, there was only one administrator who was evaluating, and the second year the school decided there should be at least two evaluators doing the formal evaluation together, which I think is a good idea. And the result of the evaluation is connected to an evaluation bonus, which is divided into three categories: exemplary, satisfactory, and poor.
For the first approach, the good part is the sufficient communication and preparation, because the teacher knows month before when the formal evaluation is going to take place, he/she would undoubtedly pull up with the best lesson plan for the evaluation. And this can also be a bad side of the story, the evaluator would be seeing the best part of the teacher, which is not a genuine reflection of the teacher’s professionalism.
The third year the school decided to adopt another approach, which is doing the evaluation based on regular walk-throughs and observations done by different administrators about twice every month. And the observation will be looking at several aspects, some of which were specifically required by the school and some are from the Charlotte Danielson Framework. And the school is also asking us to do a self-evaluation based on the Charlotte Danielson Framework. And the administrator will be communicating with the teacher about the self-evaluation and observation results.
For the second approach, I think it is a more genuine reflection of the teacher because it is more of average teaching situation rather than a one-time high stake formal evaluation. The administrators will not always inform the teachers first about when he/she will show up in the teachers’ classrooms, this is also good practice to keep the teachers on task throughout the year rather than just work up for the evaluation.
Proposes elements on which you think you should be judged as a teacher
In general, I think the second approach is better because it is a combination of a scientific system(Charlotte Danielson Framework) and the actual situation of my school.
- Peer evaluation, the school has been talking about peer evaluation for two years, unfortunately, it is not carried out with consistency. The first semester, I remember doing it twice, and then it appears to be only words on paper, nobody is pushing or supervising it. I think being in others class is always beneficial for teachers, either you learn from the good parts or you learn from mistakes.
- Students evaluation, my school is actually also doing some sort of students survey by letting students choose who is their favorite teacher, and I remember being top 10 out of 100 teachers last year. But this activity is rather informal, students are not doing it with a designed form and the results are not taken into consideration for the teachers’ evaluations.