Identification and Discussion of Key Issues
To create a new paradigm for teacher evaluation requires identification and understanding of the key issues involved in these evaluations. Evaluations meet state mandates, teacher development, identification of ineffective teachers, and promotions. Many states mandate the career teachers are required to be evaluated once per year. This evaluation generally is in the form of a summative evaluation. A summative evaluation is not the recommended evaluation to improve teacher performance. Formative evaluations are the preferred evaluation methods used for increasing teacher performance (Glickman, Gordon, & Ross-Gordon 2009). Formative evaluations can take place over several different observations during the school year. As instructional supervisors, the evaluation of teachers, teaching methods, and classroom management skills are the most important jobs we have. Another key issue to create a new paradigm for teacher evaluations is to get the teachers to agree with the new evaluation process. This can be difficult in some areas where teachers unions use collective bargaining agreements. These bargaining agreements can hamper new evaluation systems by slowing down the adoption of these new methods. Teachers will need to be provided with information about a new evaluation system and be ensured that the new evaluations will have meaning and be tied to the professional development process. Competent evaluators can also be an issue. There is little training given to new administrators in conducting evaluations and observations. Evaluation instrument could also be a key issue because they can often be too subjective or so generic they do not measure the teacher in a significant way. Teaching itself has many components and is complex in nature and having a one size fits all evaluation form does not address this complexity. Personality conflicts between supervisors and teachers can also hamper the evaluation process. Administrators in this position could be too harsh and give an unfair evaluation or even too lax in fear that the conflict will be seen and that conflict will be an excuse for a poor evaluation.
Description of specific elements that should be included
The team should include specific elements in the plan that will address the complex nature of teacher evaluations in an objective manner, yet be able to dig deeper into the process so that real teaching can be measured. Multiple observations, self evaluations, multiple data sources, and pre and post conferences should be included in the plan. Multiple observations and self evaluations will give a broader view of the teacher's performance. We need to include these items in the plan to avoid a narrow snapshot view of teaching so that an accurate evaluation can be obtained. A pre conference gives the administrator the opportunity to establish a positive relationship with the teacher. This is the time to put the teacher at ease and allow the teacher to...