Teacher Evaluation: A Step Towards Quality Teaching and Learning
Published September 9th, 2020
What is Teacher Evaluation?
Teacher evaluation is the standardized process of rating and assessing the teaching effectiveness of educators. Teacher performance evaluations aim to help promote a better learning experience for students and foster professional growth for educators.
This article will briefly discuss the importance of evaluating teaching effectiveness as explained by Danielson’s framework, provide steps on how to perform meaningful teaching evaluations, and offer digital resources to assist with conducting teacher evaluations.
“Teacher evaluation can be an opportunity for genuine professional learning. When organized around clearly established and accepted standards of practice, teacher evaluation offers an opportunity for educators to reflect seriously on their practice, and promote learning.” – Charlotte Danielson,The Handbook for Enhancing Professional Practice
Charlotte Danielson, a curriculum director and administrator, believes that teacher evaluation should be student-focused or linked to classroom performance rather than solely observing the teacher. Evaluations help teachers:
- Align their goals with the school’s vision and mission
- Engage in professional learning programs
- Upgrade skills along with educational improvements
- Monitor the students’ learning more effectively
- Reflect or do self-evaluations
Traditionally, teacher evaluation is conducted by a principal, department head, or teacher evaluator who observes how a teacher handles a class with the help of checklists. Other factors like assessments, lesson plans, daily records, and student outputs are also taken into account. In addition to classroom handling and student outputs, active participation and engagement from both the students and faculty members should also be considered.
Here are 5 recommended steps to make your teacher evaluation a successful one:
Step 1: BE THE RIGHT EVALUATOR
According to Danielson, the most important part of the teacher evaluation framework is the 3rd domain “Instruction.” Students should be intellectually involved in the learning process through activities. As you go along with the evaluation, remember to make unbiased, accurate, and consistent judgments based on the learning evidence.
Step 2: ENGAGE ALL TEACHER LEADERS
The success of learning is a product of a collaborative effort. All teacher leaders should be actively involved in the process of improving teaching practices. Conduct training and discuss the importance of doing teacher evaluation. By doing this, you will gain the teachers’ buy in and they will understand that evaluations are performed to help them and not to criticize them.
Step 3: LOOK BEYOND JUST OBSERVING
An effective teacher evaluator should be able to see how students are learning and not just look at what the teacher is doing. Take note of how students interact with the teacher during recitations and group discussions. Is it an active and fun learning atmosphere? How do students react? Do they get passing scores during assessments? Ideally, conduct formal and informal observations to assess if the teacher is student-centered in teaching.
Step 4: REFLECT WITH THE TEACHER
Allot some time to sit and talk with the teacher during your post conference. Listen attentively as you encourage teachers to do a self-evaluation. This approach can help educators realize their strengths and weaknesses on their own and prepare them for future promotions and accreditations. Ask them about their daily teaching routine and if there were changes along the way. Talk about their struggles and feel free to give some recommendations on how they can cope with challenges. Most importantly, always acknowledge educators on a job well done and recognize their eagerness to improve.
Step 5: SHARE BEST PRACTICES
A good evaluator is a great mentor. Provide the teacher your rating and raise some points you would like to discuss. Be honest by telling them their level of proficiency. New teachers who may have limited teaching experience may need more guidance. As a mentor, you can help them understand their challenges and give some tips on how to overcome those challenges. Focus on areas where the teacher could do better. Encourage them to perform student surveys to determine where in the curriculum their students are struggling. Share your best practices by developing strategies for good classroom instructions. Finally, end the session with a good development plan.
There is more in the classroom observation process to make teacher evaluations not just a school policy adherence but rather a meaningful experience for the teachers, administrators and students. As an evaluator, your role will have a huge impact in helping educators step up their quality of teaching and improve student learning.
Performing teacher evaluations require a handful of paperwork and documentation. iAuditor is the world’s most powerful tool you can use to conduct more meaningful teacher evaluations. Turn your paper forms into digital templates. Capture photo evidences while doing class observations. Record your teacher evaluation and provide immediate feedback. Take advantage of secure cloud-based storage to save all your work and use iAuditor’s Analytics to observe trends and help school administrators determine important areas for improvement.