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Discussions about what makes a teacher’s performance review effective don’t seem to be slowing down. The same can be said for employee evaluations in other industries. While we may never come to an agreement about the perfect system for providing employee feedback, most of us can agree on several core components.

Take a look at what you should be doing to ensure that your district’s teacher performance reviews are effective in boosting employee morale and encouraging growth.

1. Train the evaluators. When conducting teacher evaluations, all evaluators should undergo training in how the reviews will be conducted — from reviewing how expectations should be outlined to addressing teachers’ strengths and weaknesses. Without this type of training, you run the risk of some teachers having an unfair disadvantage in outcomes.

2. Clearly outline expectations. How does a teacher hit a goal unless he or she clearly understands what that goal looks like? The teacher should have a clear understanding of how that growth will be measured. According to a Gallup poll, only 12 percent of employees said they “strongly agree” that they were given clear priorities from their boss. Only 13 percent said their managers help them set performance goals. That clearly shows a need to make sure expectations are understood and employees are allowed to participate in the process.

3. Boost the number of check-ins. With more frequent check-ins, you’re giving teachers the benefit of understanding where they are in their progress — as well as additional time to correct their performance. Evaluations should be go beyond an annual appraisal, according to James Baron, a professor at the Yale School of Management. Barron said it should consist of immediate and candid feedback, according to an article in Harvard Business Review.

4. Exhibit genuine interest in the teacher’s growth. Managers need to convey that the evaluation process is a positive instrument in the teacher’s development. If it is viewed districtwide as a thing that must be endured, it will come across that way. Give evaluators plenty of time to conduct thoughtful teacher assessments that will resonate with employees. Teachers should feel that the management team genuinely cares about them.

5. Allow for self-assessment. Give teachers the opportunity to share how they think they’re performing. Employee evaluations should never be a one-way conversation. Again, all trainers should be instructed to excel at the job of listening. It’s a critical part of an effective evaluation. The teachers should be able to point to specific examples of how they have performed since the last evaluation, and give an assessment of their own performance.

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