Ask Michael

Vol. 11 No. 8


Q: A member of our Board came up with a performance evaluation form that he wants us to use to evaluate teachers. Is it better for us to introduce this to teachers at the end of the semester in May, or should we wait until September when the new year begins?

A: We commend the school for its interest in helping teachers develop through evaluation. However, there are probably several steps that need to be taken before introducing this new form and process to teachers.

  1. You need to determine what the most important behaviors are that you want to reinforce.
  2. You need to engage teachers in developing this list of behaviors.
  3. You need to help teachers and administrators understand how these behaviors link to your mission, culture, and values—and how, by focusing on these behaviors, they will continue to develop their teaching in ways that will help their students.
  4. You need to ensure that administrators are trained and skilled in coaching and mentoring teachers along these paths.

It is great to start down the path of evaluation that leads to growth—but it is a path that takes time to follow, and has several precursors in order to be done well. We encourage all schools to travel this path—the first step of which is determining the behaviors (inside and outside the classroom) that best describe, support, and enhance your mission, culture, and values. If that is your starting point, you will no doubt succeed with flying colors!

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