Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Monday, February 21, 2011

Teacher Evaluation and Teacher Professional Development

There has been a lot of discussion on Twitter about this concept. I would like to thank @justintarte for taking the lead on this discussion.

Here are some of my quick thoughts:

1. We need to change the culture- Too often teacher evaluations have been seen by teachers as being a very top down process.The Principal evaluates the teacher, fills out a checklist without any type of conversation or follow up. If one of the ideas and skills we need to be promoting as 21st century schools is that of collaboration then the evaluation process must be a collaborative one consisting of several conversations between the teacher and the administrator.
2.The goal of any effective evaluation process or P.D.program must be teacher growth. We as educational leaders should want to see our teachers grow and help them maximize their potential.Therefore the process is not one of “Got You” but rather one of facilitating growth. One of the qualities we need to have as educational leaders is that of humility and we should want to see our teachers succeed.
3. We need to differentiate the process to meet the needs of the individual teacher. A one size fits all professional development plan doesn’t work.Teachers need to feel that the process is worthwhile and meaningful to them.

I will admit that I am in a private school and don’t have the same mandates that many of my colleagues have with regard to the evaluation process and the necessary paper work that is often associated with it.

However I would suggest that to create a culture of learning and growing, we as the educational leaders need to set the example. We need to create an environment that people are comfortable with taking risks and one that leads to growth and not teacher frustration and burnout.

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