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As you already know, keeping teachers motivated is essential to ensuring education performance is at its optimal levels in your school and district.

While educators and government officials continue the national debate about how much student outcomes should factor into teacher evaluations, it’s critical to focus on those efforts that keep teachers actively engaged in their own professional growth.

Professional growth plan development, which has been used in numerous corporations, can give employees more ownership in their own evaluations and performance reviews. Use them effectively, and you can get more mileage out of your teacher evaluation process. Take a look at these 5 tips for engaging teachers through professional growth plans.

  1. Clearly outline the purpose of the evaluation. In too many cases, busy managers neglect to communicate the value of employee evaluations — whether they’re working in corporate America or a high school. Stress the importance of the evaluations, and back it up by giving evaluators and teachers the time they need to review performance measures.
  1. Set expectations beforehand. Don’t wait until two to three months into the school year to finally communicate the expectations you have for teachers’ overall performance. Be specific about your expectations, outlining the areas that are of upmost importance to you. Those expectations could include training, taking courses, communicating with parents, and helping to improve student test scores.
  1. Provide feedback throughout the school year. Just as you shouldn’t wait to outline expectations, don’t wait until toward the end of the year to finally get around to checking performance. Give teachers the opportunity to improve their performance by providing regular feedback throughout the school year. If necessary, schedule that time to gauge how the teachers are performing. Appoint peer teachers to observe the teachers to supplement that feedback.
  1. Make sure the goals have backed by actions. When helping teachers outline their goals, make sure they are developing a plan of action to accomplish them. For example, if the goal is to help students improve their writing skills with essays, determine how those improvements will be measured as well as the lesson plans, tutoring and observations needed to accomplish it. Make sure you put those details in writing.
  1. Implement a strategy to monitor progress. To ensure a comprehensive approach to your teacher evaluation, make sure that you have a system in place to easily monitor notes and feedback on progress. It’s essential to your team’s ability to follow through. Explore the use of technological solutions; it could provide the tools you need to easily and effectively make the evaluation process successful.

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