Teacher evaluations and independent school success

While teacher evaluation is undoubtedly important in any school, it can be critical to the success of independent schools. Here are three ways in which that is true. 1. Teaching Excellence. Good teacher evaluation contributes to the quality of the school. Done well, teacher evaluation encourages reflection on and refining of teaching practice. It recognizes and encourages good work, and …

Students should contribute to teacher evaluations

It is standard practice for university students to complete evaluations of their instructor at the end of a course. Yet students in elementary and secondary schools seldom are involved. The evaluation of independent school heads, in contrast to teachers, often is some version of “360 degree” evaluation, where input is sought from the various publics and stakeholders with whom the …

Linking teacher evaluation and standardized testing

How are teachers really evaluated in independent schools? Most traditional teacher evaluation methods use a number of questions to focus heavily on classroom processes and atmosphere. What is the teacher doing? Lecturing or providing engaging activities that will interest students and help them learn important content, concepts and skills? What are students doing? Are they engaged and productively busy? Are …

Face your fears of faculty evaluations

Many administrators feel very uncomfortable, if not fearful, about conducting teacher evaluations. Recognizing the importance and sensitivity of evaluating teachers, they approach the task with trepidation. They correctly perceive that a poorly conducted evaluation may do more harm than good. When I conduct evaluation workshops for administrators, I ask participants to share what bothers them about performing evaluations. Here are …

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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, …