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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in evidence and evaluation

Posted by on in General

Is your classroom evaluation the "Greatest Show on Earth?"

While working with many schools and districts I often discuss the evaluation process with both principals and their administration, as well as their teachers.  It's always a somewhat touchy subject, but I've never been able to figure out why.

Why the current system is lacking

While I fully understand that you have a lot riding on evaluations in your classroom, and administrators need a way to measure the progress of their staff, I don't think the current system of evaluations really does either of these things effectively.

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Posted by on in General

In case you don't know what the term means (you probably do) teaching in a fishbowl is when your classroom is being observed by other professionals, administrators, colleagues, and stakeholders constantly. Essentially it means that your teaching is always on display. Now, I know you are thinking, "I would hate that!" but I assure you it has its benefits.

When I first started teaching I was part of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, which was an intensive master's program that included 3 years of follow up mentoring and support. As a new teacher Ialso had to deal with Ohio's Resident Educator program as well as standard teacher evaluations.

All of this added up to being observed, coached, and supported by 3 different systems. My room became a revolving door of evaluations and observations, and most of my lunch periods became feedback and reflection discussions. I really was teaching in a fishbowl. I know this sounds a little torturous and at the time (especially in the beginning) it was definitely stressful, but it also made me the best possible version of myself as a teacher.

Here are three things I learned from this experience:

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Posted by on in Professional Development

people woman coffee meeting

Once the school year starts, there's hardly a moment to breathe. The pace of school life, particularly at the early-childhood and elementary levels, is marked by significant time-on-task with large numbers of children and tremendous responsibility for coaching, leading, and responding to students', families', and system-wide needs, expectations, questions, and requirements.

Summer gives you the time to strategize for the year ahead, and as you strategize, it's good to think about the new and existing initiatives, opportunities, and expectations that exist. In the best of circumstances, I think it serves educators well to stay ahead of these new efforts and endeavors so that you don't have to back track, do it over, or repeat work. Plus, to plan with the future in mind means that you're ready for this new work.

To break down this strategizing, I recommend the following actions:

Read and Watch System-Wide News

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Posted by on in Assessment


Do you teach well? 

How do you determine the merit of your teaching? How do you relay this information to others?

It's difficult to be objective with regard to your own work. That's why it's important to create a self assessment process that helps to move you forward with your teaching and learning--a process that works in tandem with outside evaluations and assessments. 

For example, a main objective of my work next year is to teach math well. 

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