Imagine this… what if teachers were able to design classroom observations? What would those teacher evaluations consist of? We asked the many teachers who follow the Education to the Core page and this is what they thought. 😊
“It’s time for observations.” is the message that always makes my shoulders stiffen. It seems that evaluations have really changed over the years. And without fail, it always seems like one of my “special” students seems to have eval days on their radar.
Evaluations for Admin
“If I was still teaching, I would love to have an evaluation form for the administrators!” ~ Daisy L-S.
“Admin model a lesson first.” ~ Chrissy C.
“When I started teaching, there werent formal evals. Admin just walked through whenever. I think this gave them a much better idea of the real teaching going on than a scheduled “dog and pony” show…” ~ Margaret C.
“It wouldn’t be based on one day of you randomly walking in on my class.” ~ Jeanann S.
“A good principal can walk down the hall and know exactly where teaching / learning is happening.” ~ Margaret C.
“It frustrates me as a special education teacher how little a lot of admin know or understand about Sped. I honestly think they should have to teach sped for at least 1 year before they get to evaluate any sped teacher.” ~ Christine A.
Evaluations Based on Relationships
“I think students should be able to contribute. And I think other colleagues should be asked, too. Relationships are huge and admin can’t fairly judge those.” ~ Kari H.
“We’re you able to make a child smile today? Right now the connection is more important.” ~ Ann W.
“What do you need?” ~ Maryann M.
“Relationships and collegial support; compassion and flexibility; fewer “checklist” items that may not be relevant in the context of a particular class or school. Particularly now during COVID closure.” ~ Lisa M.
“Student relationships, engagement, content knowledge, adaptability, communication.” ~ Annie O.
“Are you teaching? Are the children learning? Have you been a good colleague? Do parents and students respect and love you?” ~ Stephanie D.
“A place for at least 3 positive comments on the form. Well, this year probably more than 3. ” ~ Denice P.
“Are the kids having fun? Do they love their teacher. LOL” ~ Genevieve Z.
“Walks in SMILING, not judging. Speaks hello to the children and then walks over and asks how you are REALLY doing. Then proceeds to look at your common board, asks what your teaching and then says go use the bathroom; I got this. Puts together the best 15 minute lesson on the fly and builds rapport with the students. Right now teachers are LEAVING. Admin should be doing everything to keep teachers. Everything.” ~ Jessica C.
“I would focus on the mental and emotional well-being of the teacher and their students. What I would love to hear from an administrator is, “How is it going and how can I help?”” ~ Jami B.
“Understanding and Patience…” ~ Leah R-W.
“Checking to see if we are ok. We aren’t.” ~ Lorelle G.
Why Just a Snapshot of my Teaching?
“Pop quizzes and weekly tests; all my classmates – the slackers included – would rush to see where our grades were on the curve POSTED outside the classroom door. We were motivated to do better, when in a group! Some more competitive than others (guilty), but all interested in self and the big picture!” ~ Darlene H.
“Just show me how you manage to not lose your mind during your toughest class. Aka: all of the discipline issues lumped together for last period while the phone rings every 5 min to send another one to the office to receive their referral so the anger grows along with losing your train of thought constantly, with a couple of angels sprinkled in who you just feel sorry for.” ~ Tracy A.
“Kept cool when the unexpected happen.” ~ Teresa H-R.
“I wish they would see all the work we do behind the scenes. The hours of paperwork that we have to do at home because we are teaching all day and don’t have time to prep. I wish they would see that I don’t have a prep hour, and I even eat my lunch with a student, because they can’t eat in the cafeteria. I love this job but they expect way too much sometimes. They need to let me do what I need to.” ~ Holly S.
“I think having a mentorship program versus evals would prove to be more effective.” ~ Amber H.
“I would say observations/evaluations should consist partly of growth goals and establish a safe place to demonstrate areas of weakness.” ~ Kaz S.
Who Needs Evaluations?!
“I would stop evaluations for tenured teachers.” ~ Cheryl L.
“I would get rid of them and give out monthly grows and glows!” ~ Debbie R-P.
“I think evaluations really do not improve anything. Most teachers I know find them very discouraging. They can never make a 5. They only focus on improvements, and not positives. We all know that every year and classroom is different no matter how long you have been teaching that grade/subject.” ~ Ronda A-S.
“There will NEVER be a test that tells the true worth of a teacher.” ~ Jane T.
“Let me do my job and back off would be a good place to start.” ~ Shanen S.
“I’m a professional. There are very few of us that get up every day and say “I think I’ll go to school and do a crummy job today.” I have seen my share of teachers who don’t care. But in my state at least tenure protects them even if the evals are low. And it stresses the ones that really try to do the best job possible.” ~ Cyndi S.
“Whether or not you leave the copy machine jammed or just sneak away.” ~ Bethany B.
“If the ship is still sailing then leave it alone!” ~ Emily J.
“Is there blood or fire? No, then we’re good.” ~ Kim M.
“I think we should get raise as often as we get evaluated.” ~ Molly S.
“That I’m present and watch me work 😀.” ~ Holly T.
“Did the teacher show up for work today? ✅ The End.” ~ Amanda D.
“I would change it to how well you can handle a recess duty – sometimes that is way more stressful than an ELA lesson!” ~ Laura B-J.
“Bringing me drinks and snacks.” ~ Christina N.
What do you think teacher evaluations should consist of? We want to hear from you! Please comment below with your thoughts. And maybe one day… in a more perfect world… we will be able to help design evaluations based on true teaching. 🤞🏼
Written by: Janessa Fletcher
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