The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

Hey Teachers, let’s talk about evaluations

Dear Pernille,

Judging from the website traffic and comments, our last exchange got people talking, which I saw as one of our goals (helping me grow as the other). With that in mind, I’m hoping we can talk about evaluations. 

As a disclaimer, the following paragraph is for context – I know you have a lot of tasks to complete. This isn’t a statement of “my job is harder,” rather just the requirements of my role. Evaluations are hard work. Last year, I was responsible to evaluate 19 teachers, 3 paraprofessionals, 2 secretaries, 1 counselor and our Assistant Principal. Each requires meetings, documents and timelines. Evaluations don’t happen in a vacuum, I am doing other work while these need to be completed. In every case, I strive to be authentic and make the process meaningful. I want to generate some self-reflection and help people grow as professionals through the evaluation process, which I value. 

This isn’t about state education policies, it’s about a process for me as a principal to help you grow as a teacher and identify areas where you need support that I can help to identify and provide. 

With that in mind, I turn to you as we try to close the gap. Realizing that evaluations are a lot of effort for both of us, what do you want, as a teacher from this process? 

Is evaluations “just one more thing?” 

How often do you want to see me in your classroom?

Looking forward to continuing the conversation, together we’re better. 

Your thought partner,

John

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3 thoughts on “Hey Teachers, let’s talk about evaluations

  1. Pingback: Dear Administrators, Yes, Please, Let’s Talk About Evaluations… – Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension

  2. Hello Mr. Bernia,

    As a classroom facilitator of student learning opportunities who first opened my classroom door to 4th grade students in 1972, I respond, “This isn’t a statement of “my job is harder,” rather just the requirements of my role. Evaluations are hard work. Last year, I was responsible for the evaluation of 29 students, the primary communicator with parents and guardians, etc. on a daily basis. Each of these requires planning, documents, classroom delivery, and interventions. Evaluations don’t happen in a vacuum, I am doing additional administrative tasks while these need to be completed. In every case, [striving] to be authentic makes the outcome meaningful and promotes growth. I am hopeful that through the formative assessment process self-reflection and eventual growth in all of us will occur.”

    Formative growth should not be a task that is done to someone, but rather a genuine attempt to assess what the classroom leader is doing. Also, how that leader’s effort is stimulating students to develop skills and knowledge. It should be seen when students create a product or solution that demonstrates what they are understanding.

    Evaluation is, or should always be, a growth process. It is not about how many we do, for they happen daily, and through the interaction personal and professional growth and a welcoming trust is promoted in our learning community.

    That’s what I want from the process.

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