Stay ahead of the class by being in the know regarding the different methods of teacher evaluation.

There was a time when teaching was about cultivating young minds, watching student growth, and devising strategy during parent-teacher conferences to ensure children worked to their highest potential. Somehow, this process began to be viewed as insufficient. The Department of Education (DOE) and regional school districts decided more intensive teacher evaluation was the best means to identify the parties responsible for failing students and raise accountability.

Teachers now find themselves as targets in a campaign to weed out unqualified educators, which often decreases the amount of time they have to teach the lessons that would help children perform well in class or during testing.

Discover more about the most popular methods of teacher evaluation to gain the inside scoop on receiving stellar reviews, thereby allowing more time for pursuit of that first love – teaching.

This is Not Only a Standardized Test

teacher evaluationThe purpose of standardized testing was once to evaluate student performance and determine placement for the following school year. High-scoring performers would head into honors classes, low-scoring students were placed into remedial environments, and those who performed exactly in the middle would find themselves tackling average lessons suitable for their age and grade level.

Today, the tests have acquired more detailed requirements and purpose. According to the California Teachers Association (CTA), standardized testing and their value-added methods (VAM) don’t accurately reflect every teacher’s capability, nor should these be used to determine success and failure. The CTA proposes the following problems with standardized testing and VAM:

  1. “Teacher’s ratings are affected by differences in the students who are assigned to them.”
  2. “Value-added models of teacher effectiveness do not produce stable ratings of teachers.”
  3. “It is impossible to fully separate out the influences of students’ other teachers, as well as school conditions, on their apparent learning.”

Under Observation

teacher evaluationIn theory, leader observation would be an ideal method of evaluating teacher performance. Senior education officials sit to observe a class, a method that affords a firsthand opportunity to see a teacher working with his or her students. Ideally, officials would commend teachers for their strengths and provide guidance to correct weaknesses, working together for the best interest of students.

Similar to the issues surrounding today’s standardized testing, today’s leader observation might not allow teachers to exhibit their true abilities. As more teachers are required to abide by rigid performance standards that include lesson planning, classroom management, implementation of instruction, monitoring student performance, community relations, and administration and clerical duties, these educators are often pulled in too many directions to promote creativity and individuality in their students and implement alternative teaching methods in their classrooms.

Evaluated by a Group of Your Peers

teacher evaluationAmong the most efficient and beneficial teacher evaluation methods is the peer review. Giving teachers the opportunity to have their fellow educators evaluating classroom performance increases the probability of establishing a constructive process.

By nature, humans are more comfortable receiving critique from their peers – those people who can most closely relate to their life, issues, and problems. Whether groups of students, workers, or siblings, the individuals within these sets identify with each other rather than a teacher, boss, or parent, respectively. Fellow teachers understand the environment within the school, including faculty, local community, students, and parents. Teachers who are evaluated by peers will be more inclined to learn from and accept constructive criticism and implement suggested changes. With the shared experience of working together, teachers form great camaraderie and can produce greater progress.

Many methods of teacher evaluation don’t distribute blame fairly to account for government bureaucracy, parental involvement, and student accountability. Whatever your stance on teacher evaluations, it’s best to be informed about the methods and expectations so that you can be prepared for whatever your district adopts. Keep doing what is best for your students and any evaluations will go well!

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