May 3, 2013

WWAD? (What Would an Administrator Do?)

With the fail of California State Senate Bill 441 I am very much up in the air on my stance on teacher evaluation. I don't think that 441 was the answer - it was too vague in too many ways for my taste. But, it did get me thinking and discussing with friends and colleagues. I am really trying to take a step back and not become overly polarized or overly passionate (it can cloud my judgment).

Teachers are constantly wanting more say and control in how we educate students and then assess them. That makes sense - we are the experts. We spend the most time educating, planning, and even learning how to educate in new ways. But, there is a flip side - I am NOT an expert in evaluating teachers. I could evaluate a student's performance in reading, writing, and acting (English and theatre teacher), but that is what I do.

What Would an Administrator Do? They are the trained and experienced experts in evaluating teachers - for better or worse. On the outset we need to approach this with the mindset that administrators are looking to congratulate good work and then to help promote growth in teachers. Growth could be for the sake of growth - we all have a lot to learn and things are constantly changing. Growth could also develop out of a need - the teacher is ineffective - they may be unaware of the situation, they may be tired, their methods may be outdated, or they may just be disconnected from their students. Nonetheless, administrators - principals, vice principals, deans, directors, head masters/mistresses (some schools have those) know their teachers and should and I believe typically are there to help them.

So, I ask, with as much humility as possible - What Would an Administrator Do if they could choose the criteria and time table for evaluations and what effectual weight would they put on them?

Comments would be AMAZING.

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