“How Did We Do This Year?” —End-of-Year Evaluations

Vol. 14 No. 8

heads eletter Vol14 No8 evaluation and coachin

As your school approaches the home stretch of the academic year, evaluations of teacher (and administrator) performances become a high priority before school breaks for the summer session. Some School Heads may approach these meetings with dread, especially if there are low-performers within your ranks. However, an end-of-year evaluation doesn’t necessarily need to be scary—particularly when approached from the coaching model of evaluation.

Goals and Benchmarks

You, as School Head, should have an idea of what every teacher’s and administrator’s job duties are, from educating students to reaching out to community donors. (ISM calls these “Basic Expectations.”) Beyond those primary duties, however, are the professional goals that take employees from adequate to extraordinary—what ISM labels “Characteristics of Professional Excellence.”

Ideally, at the beginning of the year, you should have had a meeting with your administrators and teacher-leaders to discuss their professional goals and aspirations for the coming year. From there, you helped them achieve these goals through securing resources, providing experts and advice, and supporting their initiatives throughout the year.

So an end-of-year evaluation in this context is the final “finish line” of whether those goals and benchmarks have been met by particular administrators or faculty members—a verdict which will be clear to them long before they step into your office.

Therefore, the end-of-year evaluation within a coaching-mentorship evaluation model becomes the final “paper trail” of conversations and coaching that has taken place throughout the year.

Year-Round Evaluation

From ISM’s perspective, faculty and administrator evaluation should be done constantly, with many sessions spread over the year rather than a few meetings after scheduled class visits. Pop into your teachers’ classrooms for casual observation throughout the year, and offer a word or two of advice and support afterward.

By focusing on the classroom observation as an opportunity for coaching, teachers should feel excited to see you stop by and calm enough to offer a “natural” setting of their classroom, rather than a staged “dog and pony show” for an evaluation rubric.

In this context, an end-of-year evaluation wouldn’t be a “big deal,” per se, so much as a catch-up session that takes the entire year’s worth of coaching sessions into account. You’ve already discussed all this information with the faculty and administrators at the time, so nothing addressed at this end-of-year evaluation session should surprise anyone.

Faculty Surveys

If you’re looking for an unbiased, holistic perspective of the “State of the School,” in a manner of speaking, end-of-year surveys could be an additional part of your end-of-year evaluation process.

Surveys can cover a wide range of possible topics for both faculty and administrators, offering you and the Board of Trustees a set of data—rather than anecdotes—to adequately judge the culture of the school. Depending on your survey goals, questions can be tailored to evaluate:

  • The effectiveness of new teacher and administrator induction into the school community;
  • The compensation packages of faculty and administrators;
  • The perceived supportiveness of managers by faculty and administrators;
  • The comprehension of the school’s evaluation process—and how confident teachers and administrators are in the accuracy of that process; and
  • The helpfulness of professional development opportunities and programs in which they participated.

Whether you choose to run these surveys through a third-party service or offer them internally, evaluating the school as a whole—as well as its individual members—during end-of-year evaluations can make a fundamental difference for future planning by yourself and the Board of Trustees.

If you’re looking to foster a growth-focused, student-experience-driven faculty culture at your school, consider attending Teaching Excellence II: Developing Your Faculty Culture, July 10-12 in Wilmington, Delaware. Based on ISM’s Student Experience Study and the seminal Model Schools Project, this workshop outlines how to use key assessment instruments to include lifelong faculty professional growth and development—all designed to enhance the student experience. To register, call 302-656-4944 or email workshops@isminc.com to reserve your seat today.

Additional ISM resources:
ISM Bookstore Package: Comprehensive Faculty Development with Teaching Excellence II
The Source for Private School News Vol. 11 No. 1 How 'Evaluation' Can Help Attract, Develop, and Inspire Faculty
The Source for School Heads
Vol. 14 No. 5 19 Qualities of Superior Academic Leadership

Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 37 No. 2 A 21st Century Teacher Evaluation Model
I&P Vol. 37 No. 1 Systematically Attracting, Developing, Rewarding, and Retaining Faculty: A Mission-Based Model for 21st Century Schools

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