Interesting…I just finished reading a piece by Linda Jacobson entitled, “What’s Still Wrong with Teacher Evaluations?” and it aligned so well with recommendations I made in one of my previous blogs entitled, “Educator Evaluations: Moving from Performance Appraisal to Continuous Growth & Improvement“.
The bottom line is that we can and must do a better job of evaluating the performance of our nation’s teachers and school leaders so they can continually growth, develop, and mature as highly effective professional educators. Teacher training does NOT stop upon completion of a prep program or graduation from college–it’s really just the beginning. It’s the starting point of one’s career, and of one’s training.
How can we hone and improve our skills if we aren’t mindful of our success? As an avid gardener, the measure of my success is determined weekly as indicated by the bounty of my harvest. An athlete’s performance is measured by earned runs, touchdowns, or finish line time, and the goal is to continually work toward improvement. It’s no different in the classroom. We as educators should ALWAYS be mindful of our performance, with self-evaluation, peer-evaluation, and supervisor evaluation being the norm. Professional development should be tailored toward meeting each teacher’s needs–not necessarily their interests, but toward areas identified as needing improvement.
After all, one of the bedrocks of our great nation is a highly educated society capable of solving problems, developing new inventions, and continually finding ways to improve the lives of others. I would argue that one aspect of producing such a society lies in the quality of our teachers and school leaders – Exceptional citizens are mentored by exceptional educators — and exceptional educators should embrace a career-long cycle of evaluation, reflection, and professional improvement.
Dr. Roberta Ross-Fisher is a national leader in educator preparation, accreditation, online learning, and academic quality assurance. An accomplished presenter, writer, and educator, she currently supports higher education, P-12 schools, and non-profit agencies in areas such as competency-based education, new program design, gap analysis, quality assurance, leadership, outcomes-based assessment, and accreditation through her company, Global Educational Consulting, LLC. She also writes about academic excellence and can be contacted for consultations through her blog site (www.robertarossfisher.com).