In one of my night classes, we read this article about evaluating teacher effectiveness. It seems like a scary process, as any self-reflection would be for most people. I am excited, though, by the prospect of how much my teaching could improve.
The method of teacher evaluation described in this article is a process, rather than just a single multiple-choice exam. Teachers must plan, reflect, analyze, collect data, reflect (again!) and project what they would do in the future. I am struck by the compelling nature of this process, for all participants.
Teachers must look at their own teaching more carefully than they probably ever have before. Analyzing students and student-related data before and after the lesson, the teacher finds out how much more effective a lesson can be when it is based on student needs and formative assessment results.
The professionals who must score these teachers’ performance also learn valuable lessons about their own involvement in the process. Principals and district personnel might find trends in their schools and districts after scoring many teachers’ portfolios. These findings could guide professional development offerings. Also, in order to score, these professionals must learn about the specific needs of ELL students and SpEd inclusion students.
Teacher education programs, in evaluating their graduates as first-year teachers, find out where their weaknesses lie. In a telescoping of the teaching process, the teachers of the teachers learn that their proces matters too….maybe more so for how many students they ultimately affect.