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Posts tagged ‘teacher evaluation’

Personal professional growth and student evals

Billy Landes was probably the best teacher I ever had. Encouraging. Supportive. Tough. Demanding. Helpful. She let our study group leave to do “research” in the library when I’m pretty sure she knew that we usually headed to the donut shop instead. A learner. Smart. Knowledgable.

And someone who always asked our feedback about how she could get better. It was the weirdest thing. A teacher asking her students about her teaching practice? Seriously?

Teacher evaluation is always one of the hot topics here in the Sunflower state. It’s a hot topic pretty much everywhere. How do we best measure whether a teacher is effective or not? What questions do we ask? What data do we look at?

Teacher quality is important. I get that. But I personally have issues with politicians and others not directly involved on the front lines claiming to know best when it comes to measuring teacher quality. Common sense and research suggests that kids are successful or not for lots of reasons.

And while the political mess of teacher evaluation by schools and districts will continue, I still believe that as professionals we have an obligation to reflect on a personal level about our own best practice. Constant improvement is a good thing. And I also believe that there is a lot of value in asking our kids, our customers, to be a part of that evaluation process.

We’re not talking here about formal teacher evaluations here – this is personal professional development.Asking questions about what we do and how it impacts our students. No one else sees the results. Just us. Read more

Tip of the Week: Student evaluations. Of you.

Apparently we’ve been on some sort of double secret probation since last fall. The state of Kansas was in danger of losing its exemption from NCLB because we weren’t tying teacher evaluations more closely to student growth and state assessments. The state may have gotten off the hook by encouraging local districts to link “significant” student growth and teacher evals.

And, yes, teacher quality is incredibly important. But I personally have issues with politicians and others not directly involved on the front lines claiming to know best when it comes to measuring teacher quality. Common sense and research suggests that kids are successful or not for lots of reasons.

But while the political issues of teacher evaluation by schools and districts will continue, I still believe that as professionals we have an obligation to reflect on a personal level about our own best practice. Constant improvement is a good thing. And I also believe that there is a lot of value in asking our kids, our customers, to be a part of that evaluation process. Read more

Does your lesson suck? Find out with this rubric

I’ve been having some interesting conversations over the last few weeks with my buddy Steve. Basically, the conversation has focused on a simple question:

How do teachers know whether they’re good at what they do?

We’ve been trying to figure out what types of data could provide information to help us understand what good teaching actually looks like. Part of that discussion involves asking students to provide part of the data.

Yeah.

But browse through an article, Why Kids Should Grade Teachers, from The Atlantic that discusses the power of student feedback. And you may not agree with all of it. I get that. But the idea still makes sense to me. Kids spent months in our classrooms – their perspective is important in helping us understand the impact we’re having on them, good and bad.

I’ve attached a couple of quick sample surveys. Feel free to adapt them for content and age levels.

But there is other information that can also be useful to answering the original question. We can use all sorts of data to get feedback about quality instruction.

One of the most useful is Read more

Tip of the Week: End of the Year Self-Reflection and Student Evaluations

Teacher evaluation is one of the hot topics this spring here in the Sunflower state. How do we best measure whether a teacher is good or not? What questions do we ask? What data do we look at?

Teacher quality is important. But I personally have issues with politicians and others not directly involved on the front lines claiming to know best when it comes to measuring teacher quality. Common sense and research suggests that kids are successful or not for lots of reasons.

And while the political mess of teacher evaluation by schools and districts will continue, I still believe that as professionals we have an obligation to reflect on a personal level about our own best practice. Constant improvement is a good thing. And I also believe that there is a lot of value in asking our kids, our customers, to be a part of that evaluation process.

We’re not talking here about formal teacher evaluations here – this is personal professional development. Asking questions about what we do and how it impacts our students.

I never really thought much about having my students complete evaluations during my first couple of years teaching. It was obvious, even to a rookie teacher, what needed to change, right? Plus, it just wasn’t done. I mean, who asks for the opinions of school children?

I would always try to spend time reflecting at the end of the year: Read more