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Make the Time You Spend on Evaluations Matter

This blog features an interview of a practicing school principal on the value of utilizing walkthroughs as part of the evaluation process. At Standard For Success, our goal is to help administrators maximize the impact of teacher evaluation.

SFS: How do you see the walkthrough impacting a teacher?

Principal:  The first task is to explain the walkthrough to the teachers and ensure that they understand the purpose of the walkthrough in the evaluation process.  Walkthroughs in our district are utilized for quick targeted feedback, and not reflected in a teacher’s final score.

SFS:  Do you usually see teacher growth as you perform walkthroughs throughout the year?

Principal:  After two or three walkthroughs, the teacher is much more at ease, unless there are glaring deficiencies.  However, it is important to establish a culture of feedback and growth in your school.  This comes from including positives and providing ways teachers can grow and improve.

SFS:  What is the most useful use of the classroom walkthrough?

Principal:  Over time, it gives a summary of what the classroom is like.  But more importantly, it gives the teacher targeted feedback.

SFS:  What will the walkthrough look like in five years?

Principal: Technology will impact the management of walkthroughs and the observation process.  However, it will continue to be focused on student engagement.

SFS: How do you work with a new assistant principal to insure inter-rater reliability of walkthroughs for teachers?

Principal: Communication is key. We would talk about it ahead of time and come up with a plan that this is how we will do this and use it and then communicate it. Consistent work toward a common ground with staff so everyone is on the same page is crucial. Also, as you establish rapport with your administrative staff, it is important to conduct activities emphasizing inter-rater reliability among evaluators.

SFS: Can you describe one of these activities?

Principal: We have an SFS facilitator come in and spend time with our administrative team, going over the analytic reports and discussing markings from our live data.  This opens the door for discussions on what we are looking for as a district when it comes to instructional practices.



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