My TLN blogging collaborator this spring, Lana Gundy, creatively responds to the recent teacher-written report from CTQ's Denver New Millennium Initiative on teacher evaluation. Picking up on their recommendations for qualifications of teacher evaluators, Lana offers an Xtranormal video depicting an interaction between teacher and evaluator gone a little wrong.
Note: I am often wary of evaluators who are unduly narrow-minded or critical of aspects of teaching they do not understand and cannot themselves demonstrate effectively. Lana shows the other extreme... an entertaining as well as thought-provoking watch!
I always find it reassuring to read reports about education reforms that are written by educators. Educators have the experience in the classroom that gives them the insight to find solutions to the problems teachers face daily. Teachers know what is not working in the school systems, they live it each day. Educators may also have the solutions for educational changes that would have a positive impact on our nation’s schools. One of the solutions proposed by the Denver New Millennium that really made sense to me focused on the people who evaluate teachers.
Denver’s recommendations for qualified evaluators
- Peer Evaluators should be practicing teachers
- Evaluators should have extensive training and work as an evaluation team
- Evaluators should be assessed and monitored
Denver’s suggestions for improving the quality of evaluators for teachers are exactly what we need to make evaluators accountable for their observations. If evaluators are accountable for what they are observing, they may take more notice of what is not happening in a classroom. Evaluators must be properly trained to look for teaching that engages our students.
Below you’ll find an animation that shows what happens when evaluators are not properly trained. (This of course is a fictional dramatized account.)
The name of this video is: Teacher Evaluation to the Untrained Eye