Inherently, traditional teacher evaluations seem to have more of a negative connotation associated with the actual process as opposed to the intended/proposed conceptual ideology. To be clear, in my opinion, the process of teacher evaluations are to improve the overall quality of instruction and to impart/guide educators and offer alternative perspectives/insight from non-biase qualified colleagues.
However, the reality is that in some schools and cultures, it is a tool wielded by some administrators inappropriately and unfairly. It can do more damage to the teacher/educator and the overall school environment when utilized in way that is demeaning, dismissive and one that can impede alternative pedagogies. This is (hopefully) changing but in many arenas this system is still ‘top-down’ and it causes a lot of anxiety among staff. The recent trend that some schools are utilizing involves more of a ‘peer review’ style that takes place organically among staff members. This is far less intimidating and more beneficial in my opinion.
In some cases, evaluators do not have first hand experience ‘in’ the classrooms. However, they act as if they do.
Sometimes, assessment goals are not consistently relevant to the teacher and/or situation… nor are they insightful. Additionally, coherent criterion is not always useful and quantifiable.
In my opinion, in order to be effective and objective in conducting ‘performance reviews’, evaluators (Management/Supervisors) must be adequately prepared; knowledgeable, experienced and trained in ‘how’ to properly conduct observations.
Furthermore, they need to collect/utilize data that is pertinent, in addition to delivering positive and constructive feedback in a timely manner so that staff may use this valuable assessment tool to it’s potential.
It is known that comments and criticism are ‘key’ components to improved instruction and overall effectiveness, thus, if the evaluator fails to conduct and deliver this evaluation in a manner that is less than adequate, the result will most likely contradict the stated intent of such action.
It should be emphasized that a good thorough evaluation includes a variety of methods, including feedback and a pre/post performance conference, in order to help achieve a high level of ‘validity’.
Observations should reflect performance criterion that is relevant, clear, objective and quantifiable.
Furthermore, any amendments or adjustments should be discussed openly between staff and the responsible observer. This includes an emphasis on transparent protocol with an easily accessible forum that allows and encourages all parties to actively take part in the process without intimidation or fear of retribution.
This is an opportunity for staff and MGT to develop and establish a clear and fair performance review system that everyone in the community can trust and utilize in helping to improve and ensure a high level of professional and academic standards.
It be that student evaluation is most valid simply because they are the actual “ product consumers” they are in the class on the regular bases and they are interested in end product party.
Making students surveys and using them as a teacher for valuable feedback makes perfect sense. Considering them for official evaluation seems fair but I can picture possible bias problems from student side …
No perfect system possible but though fair combination of methods is the answer.
Elements on which my mentor should judge me as a teacher
Samples of what to be jugged :
Quality of instructional practice, lesson planning, professionalism and student engagement…
Creation of positive learning atmosphere, progress toward Individual, Effectiveness of teaching methods ( use of student central learning and technology implementation )
Result of teaching in student academic growth.
Ref : The new teacher project TEACHER EVALUATION 2.0