New Teacher Tip: The Teacher Evaluation Process

Each school system has a process for measuring and evaluating their teachers. In most districts, all teachers are evaluated by an administrator and provided feedback at least once annually. New teachers, however, typically have more than one evaluation. This section will give you an overview of what to expect before, during, and after an evaluation, as well as how to prepare for each.

Prior to an evaluation

Before an evaluation, most administrators will schedule a time with you, and some of those administrators will even let you choose the class that you know will be the most likely to shine the best light on your skills as a teacher. Here is a quick checklist of ways to prepare for the evaluation.

• Ask for the rubric they will be using. The rubric allows the administrators to score each teacher equally and accurately by looking for specific skills and dispositions during the lesson. Knowing what they will be looking for will allow you to cover all of you bases.

• Consider the audience before choosing a topic. Know the educational interests of the administrator. Were they a math teacher? Or a special needs teacher? Are they a proponent of technology? Think about what you know about them personally and professionally and consider their interests when selecting a subject, a topic, and a time of day.

• Choose an easy topic. You do not want to choose a topic that you know is difficult for some students to grasp. For example, introduction to long division may not be the best topic, because you know that it is a multi-step process that is difficult to grasp for some students.

• Prepare a detailed lesson plan. The lesson plan for an evaluation is not your typical everyday lesson plan. It is the extended version that includes details, commentary, and all of the bells and whistles that go along with it. Be sure to include the objectives, materials needed, an introduction, developmental activities, a closing, accommodations, an assessment, etc.

• Prepare your class. Talk to your students about what to expect. Let them know who is coming and explain why. Let them know that they will be rewarded for their good behavior. It might not be a bad idea to do a practice run and pretend that you are being evaluated prior to the scheduled evaluation. This may all seem like window dressing, but it will help to put your mind at ease.

• Prepare your classroom. De-clutter, decorate, and clean everything. Be sure to have your desk cleared in case she wants to sit there to evaluate.

• Be flexible. Administrators are always busy. In addition, unexpected meetings come up, students misbehave and must be attended to at inopportune times, and some type of paperwork is always being thrown at them. If she must reschedule, just simply put aside your prepared lesson until another day.

During an evaluation

If you are thoroughly prepared for your evaluation as described above, the evaluation itself should be a breeze.

• Remember that they have probably already figured out that you are an effective teacher. They want you to do well. They want the students to do well. They are not out to get you or hurt your career.

• Relax! Again, they are not looking for an excuse to fire you. Just relax and do the best you can do.

• Write your objectives on the board. Self explanatory.

• Have fun! Having fun yourself will engage the administrator and the students alike.

• Discipline as you always would. If a student misbehaves, be careful not to overreact. You will not get a lower score because your students are children and occasionally misbehave.

After an evaluation

Be prepared for feedback and constructive criticism. Administrators do not intend to tear you down and are not out to get you.

• Thank them for their feedback and honesty.

• Never argue! It will only lessen their opinion of you.

• Sincerely apply their suggestions to your teaching styles.

If you follow my advice, the teacher evaluation process will be a breeze. Remember, evaluations are meant to gauge your teaching effectiveness, not as a pretense to get rid of you. Even if you score poorly during your first year, your evaluations will be used by your administrator to help you create an improvement plan. Also Well, good luck to you and remember, relax!

Check out all our posts for First Year Teachers here. 

0 Replies to “New Teacher Tip: The Teacher Evaluation Process”

  1. Teachers should be evaluated, and the process must be strict;educators hold an important part in our communities and our future so we have to ensure they are teaching students. This article is full of ways to prepare teachers for what is to come during their evaluation — their job is to educate our students and prepare them for the real world and that’s what is expected of them. Teachers tend to take away the negative comments from their evaluations, but they need to remember that no one is trying to get them out of the workforce. One of the goals of teacher evaluations is to help teachers improve and to find ways to increase student success.

  2. In general, I think those first job performance reviews can be difficult, especially for young professionals to absorb. It’s hard not to have a defensive attitude but this is really the way that new teachers, and all new professionals, should approach reviews. They should take the constructive criticism and improve!

  3. A far better approach is to allow/enable peer observation and coaching to play a role in this process. VEO (Video Enhanced Observation) does this. These tagged videos can be saved in a private portfolio or can be shared with individuals or groups of people within your organisation. Shared videos can then be filtered to show, for example, year 9 science lessons with positive rich/open questioning, so fellow colleagues can learn from these experiences. Teachers can choose to share key videos with the Administrator who can then quickly and easily scan through the lesson, guided by the time-stamped tags, reviewing a teacher’s competencies with real evidence, as chosen by them. Saves time, saves money AND leads to improved teaching & learning rather than a top-down judgement which leads to little.
    The iPad app can be tried for free, but it’s the secure online VEO Portal which really empowers teachers and school leaders to drive change and improve professional development!
    Please get in touch to find out more!!

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