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Teacher Evaluation Roundup

Communicator
March 2016, Volume 39, Issue 7

As instructional leaders, principals are responsible for getting the best from their teachers. Evaluations provide a unique opportunity to offer teachers feedback to teachers, ensuring they have the skills and competencies they need to lead students to success. Here are four tips and resources to help you implement teacher evaluations at your school:

  1. Recognize evaluation as a growth process. Evaluations can cause much undue anxiety for teachers wary of judgement. However, in “The Main Points of Teacher Evaluation,” authors John F. and Sheila A. Eller argue that improving teaching should be at the heart of any worthwhile evaluation process. They show how to use evaluation to both help new teachers find their feet, and help already good teachers to get even better.
  2. Use the right tools. In “Building Teacher Capacity,” Arkansas principal Maribel Childress offers up her school’s strategies for evaluating teachers. Childress shows how the right mix of technology tools, appropriate professional development, and acknowledgement and celebration can lead to an evaluation process that focuses on promoting growth, rather than emphasizing shortcomings.
  3. Maximize time. With the number of teachers to assess, along with every other daily task principals are responsible for, teacher evaluations need to be efficient and effective. Fortunately, in “Time-Saving Teacher Evaluation Solutions,” principals share their best time management strategies, from scheduling techniques to best data practices.
  4. Understand the law. In the grand scheme of teacher evaluations, a principal’s main goal should be helping teachers help students. However, there are key legal responsibilities that cannot be neglected, specifically with regards to illegal conduct and teaching noncompliance. “Teacher Evaluation: The Legal Factors” offers a good starting point for understanding these concerns, and how principals can ensure they are sufficiently prepared should problems arise.

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