Friday, January 02, 2009

Teacher Evaluations (20 Questions)

Earlier this year after a meeting with the district's literacy coordinator, I was asked to join the Teacher Evaluation Committee. Because I have a desire to move in the direction of administration, and because I love learning, I gladly accepted. To prepare for the first meeting, I read four Teacher Evaluation Handbooks from schools that vary in demographics. As an enhancer, I began reading Teacher Evaluation To Enhance Professional Practice by Charlotte Danielson and Thomas L. McGreal.
Having never previously explored the issue, I have found a wonderful accessory to the other book I am currently reading, Sweating the Small Stuff by David Whitman.
While I am exploring the issue of teacher evaluations, I am finding more questions than answers.
While I continue to read, I will leave some questions here for my colleagues and education enthusiasts or antagonists to answer:
1. What is the purpose of a teacher evaluation for a non-tenured teacher?
2. What is the purpose of a teacher evaluation for a tenured teacher?
3. What does good teaching look like?
4. Does good teaching look the same at different grade levels? In different content areas? At different schools?
5. Should teacher evaluations be more focused on student outcomes than teacher behaviors?
6. What teacher behviors should be evaluated?
7. To what extent should self-reflection or self-assessment be considered in an evaluation?
8. To what extent can formative assessments be used in teacher evaluations?
9. How much differentiation should exist in teacher evaluations? (Most districts have three tiers--novice, experienced, needing assistance)
10. If evlautions are based on a standard, then is it fair to treat non-tenured teachers differently simply because of years of service? Meaning, can't a first or second year teacher outperform a tenured teacher who typically has a less intensive evaluation process?
11. How formulaic should the evaluation criteria be?
12. Who should evaluate teachers?
13. Are student surveys (much like a university would use) worthwhile in teacher evaluations?
14. Is peer review a worthwhile activity in teacher evaluations?
15. Should new teachers be given a lesser teaching load?
16. Should the formal evaluation process extend to tenured teachers on an every year basis?
17. What types of alternative evaluations would be beneficial to teachers? Independent projects? Collaborative projects?
18. Should teacher evaluations include journals?
19. Do unannounced visits provide a more accurate depiction of the classroom?
20. How much would artifact gathering (lesson or unit plans, assignment guides, rubrics, etc.) help in evaluating a teacher?


At 2:44 PM , Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

18a. Should teacher evaluations include blog posts?

At 5:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No to both 18 and 18A. I would much rather have my evaluation based on student learning than the time I spend on journaling or blogging. How does journaling/blogging improve teaching?


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