Select Page

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 9: “Teacher Dismissal” of Dr. Dianna Whitlock’s published book, “Teacher Evaluation as a Growth Process.” To purchase the full book, visit Amazon or Barnes&Noble.

Part 1, Chapter 9: Teacher Dismissal

In Chapter Two, we discussed why we evaluate.  This chapter is intended to dig deeper into this question, including practical reasons for the school administrator to evaluate teachers and provide meaningful feedback to their subordinates, leading to benefits for the school district as a whole.  

My hope is that this book, and this chapter in particular, reflect the tone of my personal philosophy that evaluation and feedback not be used for punitive purposes.  Rather, that these are utilized as growth exercises that help those around us develop professionally.  If that is the case, then I hope this question will evoke an easy answer:

Is the purpose of teacher evaluation teacher improvement, or teacher dismissal?

By choosing teacher improvement (as I hope all readers do!), we are not discounting or ignoring that sometimes teacher dismissal is necessary.  There are times when we must use our evaluation data to lead courageous conversations with those for whom teaching is not their forte.  However, it is the hope of this writer that these instances occur only in severe circumstances (a teacher poses a threat to a student) or after significant attempts to guide this teacher to improve are not successful. There are also cases where retaining a teacher is actually doing a disservice to our students. Overall, we know that the evaluation process must not be one of targeting individuals for dismissal, but rather one of constructive feedback and identification of areas for individual improvement. 

Dismissal of an Ineffective Teacher

Dismissing an ineffective teacher, or any employee, may be one of the most difficult tasks that an administrator will face in their career. Even when procedures are established and followed appropriately, there will likely be some form of appeal from the individual, and the emotional side of teacher dismissal will still come in to play. Administrators recognize that employee termination places a burden on an individual’s career and ability to provide for one’s family. That being said, dismissal of ineffective teachers is often necessary for improvement of the school and to provide students with the best educational opportunities possible.

Definition of an Ineffective Teacher

The first step in dismissing an ineffective teacher is establishing a definition of an ineffective teacher. This has received much attention in recent years. As a result of legislation on teacher evaluation, most local education agencies are allowed to define an ineffective teacher as a part of their teacher evaluation system. Evaluators now have a rubric or list of traits to observe in order to designate a teacher’s effectiveness. Multiple measures stipulations require schools to incorporate some measure of student growth data into the effectiveness rating, as we discussed in Chapter Five.

To continue reading, click here to purchase the full book.

Featured Articles

Education Advanced acquires Standard For Success

Education Advanced acquires Standard For Success

Education Advanced, Inc. (EAI), a leading provider of operations management and workflow solutions for K-12 school districts, announced today the acquisition of Indiana-based Standard for Success (SFS), an independently owned company, founded by teachers, to support educators and administrators with software, services, and solutions.

read more
Graduation Pathways FAQ

Graduation Pathways FAQ

Indiana school advisors, administrators, counselors, and principals all have the important task of tracking graduation pathways for their students. In fact, the Indiana State...

read more
Make the Most of an Evaluation Walkthrough

Make the Most of an Evaluation Walkthrough

In order to provide the most effective learning environment possible, educators need ongoing evaluation and feedback. An evaluation walkthrough is an assessment tool that you can use to provide valuable data regarding how well the implementation of standards-based instruction is occurring. A walkthrough protocol needs to be established to make sure the data is retrieved, examined, and analyzed as efficiently as possible. The following explains the steps to take to successfully implement this process.

read more
Coronavirus and the Impact on High School Graduation

Coronavirus and the Impact on High School Graduation

The beginning of the pandemic in 2020 had major unexpected effects on many aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, this had a huge impact on children’s education, which moved students and educators to remote classrooms online instead of the traditional in-class school days we are all accustomed to.

read more