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For managers and employees alike, performance reviews aren’t typically at the top of the list of things they like about their jobs – especially when they involve negative feedback about the employee’s performance.

According to a recent report, some principals actually avoid giving a teacher a negative review — even if it is deserved. When calculating students’ performance as part of teacher evaluations, a Tennessee report found that 20 percent of teachers scored 1 out of a total of 5. However, less than 0.3 actually received a 1 as part of their evaluation, the Washington Times reported.

While giving negative feedback isn’t easy, it should be viewed as the tool that could turn a badly performing teacher around — or the tool that can lead to a better replacement. As Geoffrey James said in an article, feedback should be designed to improve the behavior of the employee so that it brings out the best results for the entire organization.

Here are some tips on effectively giving feedback on a bad employee evaluation review.

  1. Clearly document the areas that need improvement. Giving a bad review should never be vague. You should have clear instances of where the performance fell short. Cite examples beyond student test scores. Also, if you were doing your evaluations right, you should have had numerous interactions with the teacher throughout the year in which you were giving feedback and providing milestones for growth.
  1. Don’t send conflicting messages. By all means, point out the areas where the teacher is doing well. But don’t sugarcoat the criticisms about their performance.
  1. Be specific about your expectations. While the expectations for the teacher should have been clearly expressed already, repeat them and then discuss how the teacher failed to meet those expectations.
  1. Invite the teacher to provide his own feedback. An employee should never feel helpless in asking questions or providing his own perspective on his performance and evaluation. In addition, he also should feel able to provide feedback on how he could have received better direction.
  1. Get to the root of the problem. By asking questions on why the teacher thought she fell short can shed light on any issues that may be interfering with her development. It also can help you develop a strategy for ensuring success in the future.
  1. Establish an improvement plan. Again, this is not a time to be vague. The areas that need to be improved should be clearly measurable.

While giving poor reviews on a teacher evaluation isn’t pleasant, it can be effective in helping you achieve the outcomes that will benefit the teacher as well as the school.

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