This year a team of teachers and administrators have started work to re-vamp the FWSU Evaluation System for teachers. The committee kicked off this week with our first meeting. This is the fifth year of the committee and includes representation from all three of the schools in our district. We have a variety of people that includes administration and teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school level.
The current system, developed five years ago, has served our system well. When we first introduced our current system we added features that changed the nature of how we approached evaluation and supervision. One of the features introduced was what we called the mini-observation. Mini-observations have allowed our building principals to be in classrooms often and has also allowed them to give teachers lots of formative feedback too. Another important feature added was the idea of stakeholder feedback. Last year every student and parent had the opportunity to give feedback on their classes and school.
Although our current system works well and has allowed for innovation, it is time to move our system forward. Last year the Evaluation Committee put forward the idea of making our evaluation system mirror our schools work on proficiency for students. A system based on evidence and not mired in paperwork.We began by using the appreciative inquiry protocol to guide our meeting and help set the agenda for our work this year.
We all had opportunities to share what we appreciate about our evaluation process, what could be, what should be, and what will be. Key components of our discussion came back to meaningful work that encourages growth and is responsive to individual teachers. Specifically:
- “What Will Be:
- Will value our teaching and encourage growth
- Will recognize strengths and resources in our system and share those in new and innovative ways
- Will clearly and obviously improve both academic instruction and the social/emotional learning environment
- Will provide multiple sources of feedback (stakeholders: peer, too)
- Will have a system or an approach for peer feedback
- Will be part of a coherent system, integrated with other FWSU processes
- Will be a safe process focused on improving instruction
- Will be flexible and responsive to individual teachers
- Will be clear, accessible, consistent, and easy to understand
While we have many steps on our path this year, we have our direction in sight and we look forward to sharing new ideas with you all!
Heather Sikorsky is a third-grade classroom teacher at Georgia Elementary Middle School. She serves on the FWSU Evaluation Committee.
Ned Kirsch is the Superintendent of Schools at FWSU. You can follow him on Twitter at @betavt