Thursday, April 02, 2009


After missing the football for the umpteenth time, Charlie Brown inevitably exclaimed, "AARGH!" It sums up nicely how I felt this afternoon after reading the thoughts of a colleague pertaining to our teacher evaluation survey.
We are in the process of revamping and updating our evaluation plan, so we asked our peers about their feelings on walk-throughs. Our district has commenced with both principal walk-throughs and central office walk-throughs.
One person responded to the question by saying that he/she believed that only non-tenured teachers should have walk-throughs as part of their formal evaluation process.
Had I continued to teach in Washington, I would be tenured. I am eligible for tenure after this school year. But, if I ever get to the point where my arrogance, and yes it exists, causes me to think that my tenure should protect me from being evaluated by different measures than non-tenured teachers, please force me to retire.
I believe that new teachers and tenured teachers should be evaluated in the same way: competency. They should be evaluated equally--the same number of times and in the same manner: PUT UP OR SHUT UP.


At 7:19 PM , Blogger Amerloc said...

I agree. Partially.

Should admins be out and about every chance they get, just to keep a finger on the pulse of the building they're in charge of? Absolutely.

Should that include sticking their heads into classrooms for a couple minutes? Of course (although perhaps not literally. That'd freak some kids out(and many of the teachers I've worked with). But I've worked with principals who could have pulled it off).

But I've worked in schools so big they had more than a hundred teachers, and a requirement that non-tenured teachers be formally evaluated four times a year (formal being a sit-down, full-period, note-taking evaluation with subsequent follow-up face-to-face).

So, yeah. I'm not sure there's anything about your being tenured (or not) that should subject (or entitle) you to different standards. But I think we have to let administrators budget their time as productively as possible, too. If a teacher has earned the trust, why be redundant? Why not let it be JUST unannounced walk-throughs for a vet?

It'd save a whole lot of time on the admin end if all they had to do was swing through once in a while to make sure I'm still playing my "A" game. If not, then something more formal has to happen...

Sorry to be long-winded. Like you, though, trying to chase solutions.

At 3:15 AM , Blogger Margaret English said...

I think that all teachers should be evaluated - formally or informally - on a reasonably regular basis, regardless of status or time-served. Quality assurance is vital in education and in my opinion it isn't taken seriously enough. I have worked with, and currently work with, some shockers who wouldn't hold up against similar scrutiny in a private company.

As for the senior staff, most of them don't do enough to justify their wages. One way to start would be to have a more visible presence around the school, so that staff and students are aware that they could pop in to a class at any time.

At 4:02 AM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

UST--It seems reasonable and responsible to evaluate on many levels regularly. Urban schools face greater challenges than the typical suburban school, and therefore should require greater scruitny of the staff.
I will qualify this with an equally important statement:
Administrators and central office staff must also be top notch. With that said, I believe an evaluation of administrators should include teachers in the building who interact with them on a daily basis.


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