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Give Your Teachers What They Need During Performance Reviews

If any student were to get a 55 percent on an exam or homework assignment, his or her performance would more than likely earn a rating of unsatisfactory — or, worse, failing. But that’s how managers are stacking up when it comes to ratings on the value of employee performance evaluations.

According to a survey cited by Forbes, only 55 percent of employees rated employee performance evaluations as being effective. In short, they considered them a waste of their time. When it comes to evaluating the performance of teachers, the process is becoming progressively better. In most cases, teachers are evaluated at different periods of the year — not just during a periodic visit by the principal to “check in on things.”

However, in light of those lingering perceptions about teacher evaluations, managers need to take on the challenge of ensuring that evaluations are effective in helping teachers improve their performance in the classroom. Here are 4 things to consider as part of any effective evaluation process:

  1. Develop clear and measurable goals. It’s all about setting expectations and clearly explaining them. However, it’s not enough to say, “I want you to do a better job of taking the initiative.” Detail what that looks like and the milestones that the teacher should be hitting along the way. Again, they should be milestones that can be measured.
  1. Commit to regular check-ins. While it can be challenging, conducting regular meetings and check-ins is essential in keeping professional development as a priority. Document any progress and highlight areas that need work before the next scheduled meeting. This will help teachers communicate any issues that may be getting in the way of them achieving their goals.
  1. Explain the objective. Hopefully, you’re conducting employee performance reviews with the intention of helping the employee grow professionally. Make that clear. Talk about what you envision for the employee and how you anticipate they will make even more of an impact for the school. Evaluations should not be perceived as a tool for punishment, but rather as a tool to outline a path for growth.
  1. Invite open discussion. Although you’re the one providing the feedback, always encourage teachers to openly discuss their feelings about the evaluation. If you clearly articulated the goals and expectations, as well as the intent of the evaluation, the employee should feel like she is in a safe environment to ask questions and provide her own feedback. However, some employees still may be reluctant to speak up. Encourage dialogue to ensure that the intent was received as it should have been.

By implementing effective teacher evaluations, you can develop trust among your employees that you are engaging in giving them the tools to grow professionally.