Few days ago I met with ex teacher. I told him about my blog and he was very happy. He sent me some material about what was school when he was young. Enjoy it.
I remember way back to 1987 when I landed my first school administrator’s position and had to start evaluating teachers. I was all of 28 years old and proud that I was now a school principal, but it suddenly dawned on me that this was for “real.”
I was responsible for evaluating teachers who worked at the school and it scared me. I remember talking to my father one weekend and telling him about my concerns. He told me to remember, “Don’t tear them down. Build them up.” That was great advice that I still believe in. However, building them up was more or less subjective. I had to use a union approved form that gave the options of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” in whatever areas the district and union agreed were important. Anything beyond that was my opinion and observation. There was very little science to the process. I wanted the process to be meaningful, but in the end I couldn’t honestly say the evaluation process was a meaningful growth experience. And, ultimately I couldn’t say that the evaluations resulted in better teaching and improved learning. It was a process mandated but not meaningful. Much has changed over the past 24 years. Research, practice and implementation of best practices have become the norm. Frameworks are employed to help create a meaningful process. Standards of practice are widely accepted and the evaluation process is much more meaningful. The Charlotte Danielson Teaching Framework is widely adopted and creates the ability to conduct meaningful teacher evaluations and allows for a growth process that benefits teaching practice.
The ultimate goal for teacher evaluation is to improve student learning. What was missing when I started in administration was a structure. Teacher evaluation was based on the whim of those who held authority and not really based on research and best-practice. Take a look at the video below to view an introduction of the Danielson Framework as it relates to teacher evaluation. Then, if you will, please share your thoughts below as comments.