Module 6: Student Assessments
This year I taught third grade. This was my second year teaching, and I was evaluated frequently. Being observed pushed me to create more engaging lesson plans and step out of the box a bit more. Teacher evaluations allow for self reflection and peer evaluation. I can honestly say I was harder on myself then any teacher or administrator was. This year I was evaluated using three different approaches including informal, rubric and peer evaluations. These evaluations gave me different feedback, which enhanced my teaching.
Evaluations effect pay, hire status and position significance of an instructor. These evaluations differ all over the country. Evaluations can be done by an administrator, chair head or consultant. All three evaluations are done by observing the teacher during a lesson and providing feedback. In my school an administrator observes formally and informally throughout the school year. I met with the administrator twice, which provided feedback and comments. The administrator used a rubric to help guide discussion. Unlike with teach now, I did not see the rubric before being evaluated. When I was evaluated by my mentor I knew exactly what she would be grading me on. I believe this helped me to become a better teacher. One week when I was being observed using 21st century technology, I used the whole week to test myself. I tried technology I wouldn’t usually engage with. After the week I found myself turning to new technology because it wasn’t so new anymore. Some counties have decided to bring in consultants to evaluate teachers. I believe this could be effective because teachers are being compared to other teachers in the county and not just the school. I would think it would be difficult for consultants to understand the classroom culture and challenges the teacher may have been faced with. A consultant would only get a snapshot of what the instructor in capable of, if they are only evaluating one lesson.
I believe teachers should be evaluated on the classroom culture, presentation of content, and behavior management. I believe if one is missing then a teacher is not being fully effective in the classroom. I think classroom culture is important because it is our job as educators for students to feel loved and supported. Students won’t learn if they are uncomfortable. Teachers teach in all different way, and students learn in all different ways. Teachers should be creative and engaging in the content they are teaching. Teachers should be held to high standards in evaluations so they are constantly improving.