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Teacher evaluations are considered an essential component of your management duties. However, the time invested in the process could be useless if employees aren’t responding to the feedback you’re giving.

Ensure that your teachers are more receptive to performance evaluations by conducting sessions that allow them to better engage with the process. Here are five ways you can help teachers get more involved in their ongoing development:

1. Establish expectations. Communication is essential at the start of the evaluation process. Take the time to share your vision for how the process will be conducted, and what the outcomes should be. When outlining those expectations, invite teacher representatives to be part of the brainstorming sessions. Keep the focus on the positive outcomes resulting from investing in teacher development.

2. Encourage participation. Teacher evaluations should not be a one-way dialogue. Give employees the opportunity to assess their own performance based on the metrics used as part of the teacher evaluation. Encourage honest self-assessments as part of the process by offering guidelines and tips on how to make them effective.

3. Be specific with feedback. Dealing in generalities is not an effective way to get teachers to engage in their development. Be specific about the areas that need improvement. Statements like “You need to take the initiative more” will not give a teacher as much direction as designating the areas that require progress and how those areas will be measured.

4. Outline goals. As part of the evaluation process, outline the goals agreed upon. Again, make sure they’re specific. Use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym — Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound — to help guide the formation of the goals.

5. Provide regular feedback. If the teacher’s progress is not regularly assessed, it’s unlikely that the goals will be considered a priority. Use a digital platform as a way to provide a way for teachers and evaluators to review their goals as well as any progress made. Also, encourage regular, less formal check-ins on at least a monthly basis.

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