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What every teacher is thinking at evaluation time:

“On top of teaching now we have to worry about our teacher evaluations?”

The additional workload, the judgement, being put on the spot and held accountable . . . all of these things are stressors not just to teachers, but to any working professional.

Here are some suggestions on how the evaluator can lower stress while making evaluations more meaningful:

  1. Give feedback in a timely manner.
  2. Do your observations as soon as possible after the start of the school year to allow teachers to act upon the areas of need.
  3. Visit the classroom often, perhaps by using a walk-through tool.
  4. Don’t just tell a teacher what they did incorrectly – give them ways to improve.
  5. Make sure you understand the tool and are using an appropriate tool for the position.
  6. Have a pre-observation conference with that teacher to see what you will be seeing when you go into the classroom.
  7. Observe the total classroom.
  8. Keep the evaluation transparent and allow for teacher response to the observation.
  9. Train the teacher on appropriate artifacts and follow through with viewing the artifacts.
  10. Realize that as an administrator you will miss some things.
  11. Let the teacher be a part of their own evaluation.

For more information, this article in Education Week goes more in-depth on some of these ideas.

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