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 …

Learning from Teacher Evaluation Experiences

After being involved in all aspects of teacher evaluations for decades, it’s my own experiences that are often the most compelling way of communicating best practice. With that in mind, here are accounts of five evaluations that I personally conducted and what I learned from them. In deference to those who were evaluated and to avoid any possible identification, I …

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 …