Welcome to the Professional Development Session, focusing on teacher evaluation system that would involve the detailed explanation of various assessment points and instruments to be used. I would like to emphasize that teacher evaluation plays an integral role in ensuring the appropriate education for students and creating adequate working conditions for staff members. The assessment of teachers’ professional knowledge and skills performed according to the regulations of the school, ethics, and fairness will lead to the proper organization of the evaluation processes and the subsequent staff satisfaction. In order to provide such an evaluation, it seems crucial to distinguish between several stages and focus on them in detail, so that each team member can understand his or her role and all the principles of teacher assessment.
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First of all, I would like to ask you about any challenges encountered in the course of teacher evaluation to discuss them and try to address (here, it is possible to discuss the topic with the audience based on the issues detected). The evaluation is to be performed by the team of experts, consisting of 2-4 members, one of which would be a principal. Within the first four weeks of the new calendar year 2017-2018, all the necessary documents and team would be organized and prepared for the future assessment. It seems important here to point out that the utilization of online resources can significantly enhance the evaluation process. Therefore, Teacher Profile Summary would be completed online by the team after they clarify the instructions and apply the assessment tools. More to the point, teachers should fill self-evaluation form as a part of Teacher Performance Evaluation Document.
Once the preparation stage is completed, the preliminary data collection should be started to collect the evidence regarding a certain teacher by applying a range of tools, such as formal observation forms A or B as well as informal observations. The number of such observations may be varied, depending on the decision of the evaluation team and other aspects that may occur in the course of the procedures. In effect, teachers with some deficiencies, be it the lack of skills or insufficient understanding of the standards, are to be put on remediation to address the identified issues and be evaluated once again. As for the probationary teachers (EMT), their experience and contemporary skills are to be examined both by the principal and evaluation team members. During the first three months of work, these teachers would have at least one formal observation from the principal and fill forms A or B on Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) website.
The final evaluation conference assumes that the principal and team members would review the collected data and prepare a draft of the final evaluation with reference to the evidence. After that, the team would meet with the teacher and discuss the mentioned data along with self-evaluation document. At this point, the teacher would have the opportunity to provide the additional information that was previously not stated. This meeting would ensure the fact that all the teachers would have equal opportunities to reveal their appropriateness for the suggested position (Whitaker, 2013). Furthermore, I value the direct contact with staff members as it helps to understand not only professional but also personal qualities of the teacher that is rather important while working with students. Such a meeting would also contribute to the refection of the incentives and believes of the teacher, thus leading to the most adequate evaluation outcomes.
There are several teacher evaluation standards that are essential to provide evaluation procedures in a comprehensive manner. It is suggested to assess teachers according to the following marks: foundation, established, accomplished, and mentor, where the latter only for the first standard that focuses directly on the profession, including the commitment to the school vision, personal development, and contribution to the professional learning community. The second standard is curriculum, paying attention to the implementation of the given instructions, planning of the effective learning activities, and being aware of students’ different levels. In their turn, the third and the fourth standards are associated with the classroom and community respectively.
Sergiovanni and Green (2014) distinguish between five forces of the principal that can be used to initiate successful leadership organization. Considering both third and fourth standards that were identified above, it is possible to link them with the human force. It suggests the “role of ‘human engineer’, emphasizing human relations, interpersonal competence, and instrumental motivational techniques” (Sergiovanni & Green, 2014, p. 142). The role of classroom and community is a rather important aspect that needs to be considered by teachers and also by the evaluation team for the assessment. In other words, the way the teachers interacts with class and community, engaging students, parents, and other staff members is likely to be one of the key indicators of his or her performance. The communicative competence is the quality of the teacher, providing an effective design of direct feedback to another person, the establishment of contact with students of different ages and their parents. The ability to develop a strategy, tactics, and techniques for interacting with students, organizing their teamwork activities to achieve certain significant goals by persuading and arguing the position is to be examined as well. The selection of adequate forms and methods of presentation of material may serve as one more indicator of the teacher’s performance.
As a principal, I would like to express my views regarding the very process of teacher evaluation. I believe that this process should be fair and transparent as much as possible since the assessment of the professional activity of the teacher has an impact on his or her attitude to work as well as on the motivation for his or her professional growth. The action plan presented above reflects the need to improve the mechanisms for motivating the continuity of the professional growth of teachers. In this connection, the suggested system of evaluation seems to be quite elaborate and dynamic to satisfy the needs of the school and also those of teachers.
Some teachers may feel uncomfortable while being thoroughly evaluated. In this connection, I agree with Whitaker (2013) who claims that the “effective leaders don’t waste their time or energy trying to persuade everyone that the new system will work better than the old, instead they provide a scaffolding of procedures and techniques” (75). In my point of view, successful leadership is based on precise attention to each staff member based on communication and timely feedback. Therefore, I am ready to discuss and interact with teachers and team members to achieve the best outcomes possible. In other words, the open dialogue is what is valued and appreciated here as the relationships really matter.
Sergiovanni, T. J., & Green, R. L. (2014). The principalship: A reflective practice perspective (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Whitaker, T. (2013). What great principals do differently: Eighteen things that matter most (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.