Conversation is essential to evaluation

Conversations make the evaluation process rich, meaningful, and credible. When evaluating teaching, the evaluator must work to understand and appreciate, what the teacher is doing, and the reasons for the choices the teacher has made. While the reasons for some may seem obvious, many will not be. It is in the post-observation conversations that these will be explored. Teaching is …

The nexus of mentoring and evaluation

While school administrators are expected to evaluate the teachers in their schools, many are inadequately prepared for this task. Yet, teacher evaluations are a major contributor to the success of independent schools. They are vitally important to the quality of teaching and learning and in that way, are a key to building positive reputation and enrolment success. Poorly designed and …

Boards and teacher evaluation: the do’s and don’t’s

In independent schools, the evaluation of all faculty and staff is not a board responsibility. Boards hire, evaluate and dismiss their Head of School, who is sometimes described as “their only employee.” This, of course, is not strictly true: all school employees are employees of the board. But the point is that when the board is a governing body and …

How to avoid demotivating teachers

Don’t demotivate your teachers! Much has been said about how to motive teachers.  However, it is more important to avoid demotivating them.  Here are seven ways that are sure to demotivate teachers: “Inclusive” classrooms without adequate support for students with significant special needs Unsupportive administration when dealing with difficult parents Excessive administrative demands – paperwork, over-complicated reporting systems, too many …

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Want to improve teacher evaluations? Take your time.

A sound teacher evaluation program is vital for the quality and reputation schools, administrations and boards.  Conducting quality teacher evaluations, however, takes much time. One usual justification for teacher evaluation is the improvement of instruction.  Yet unless the evaluation process is sound, evaluations lead to little if any change. Teachers will only take evaluations seriously if they respect the process, …

Should teachers give homework?

Homework is often controversial, dividing both parents and teachers. Those in favour, believe that homework teaches responsibility, organization skills, and strengthens learning. Those against, say it places strain on families, and takes away from time that students should have for other things. Students, they argue, spend enough time in school, and homework should be unnecessary. I think that the value …

Opportunity For New Beginnings

Contributed by Michael O’Hara, Principal, Keheewin School, Edmonton Public Schools, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Every school head and teacher knows the nervous apprehension and excitement in anticipating a new school year. It is the opportunity to do what was not done last year, or to do what was attempted differently, for a better outcome. Leaders sometimes forget that doing what one has always done …