Educators and school administrators make mistakes. And most of them are quite common. We’ll be taking a look at the seven evaluation mistakes that you’ll never make again.
This will make all the data and gatherings from all angles of your observation periods present and accounted for rather than go missing. School administrators want as much intel as possible and for this reason, observations are done regularly.
Without this specific data that are needed, school administrators won’t be made aware of what’s going on throughout their schools. Not to mention, the lack of intel will make things worse for the school as a whole (due to lack of improvements).
Now, let’s dive right into the seven evaluation mistakes you should never make again:
1. Not giving feedback
Communication is very important between school administrators, edtechs, and teachers. While administrators will need to do some observations themselves, it’s EdTechs that will have the responsibility to make observations themselves.
Administrators will normally spend an hour doing observations themselves. Meanwhile, EdTechs will observe classroom activities in just a fraction of that time (15 to 20 minutes). The latter will need to report any observations they’ve performed to the administrators.
Whether it’s positive, neutral, or negative observations made by the Ed Tech, administrators will need to know so they could make some adjustments to ensure a better school environment.
2. Leaving out teachers who may have potential
One of the biggest evaluation faux pas is not observing every teacher. This might be done by mistake by those responsible for performing regular observations. However, it should be noted that no teacher’s performance should go unnoticed.
You’d be surprised as a school administrator that one of your teachers may be exceeding expectations. However, that teacher may feel like they’re going unnoticed and feel like they’re feeling unappreciated. The better the teacher’s morale, the more heart they’ll put into their job as an educator.
Have your Ed Techs or even yourself make a plan where every teacher is given a chance to perform at their best (even when they don’t know someone is observing them in the back).
3. Placing Tasks Before People
Here’s what we mean by this: yes, administrators have to perform tasks that are part of their job. However, they shouldn’t blow people off because of these tasks. That’s because you need to communicate with teachers and Ed Techs regularly. Not to mention, you also need to play a disciplinary role (if the situation calls for it).
The people are what make your school stand out. The way the teacher uses classroom material to educate the students, the students doing the assignments and their academic performance, and so on. They should be placed at a slightly higher priority than menial tasks that will keep you in the office all day long.
4. Using rubrics that are unweighted
Observers will often use a scoring rubric to evaluate the teachers. Each dimension is weighted, but some will carry more than others. Not every part of the rubric should have equal weight or none at all.
For example, a task like source citing will need to carry more weight compared to writing mechanics. That’s because source citing will allow observers to see where teachers are getting their information from. In other words, the teachers should teach the truth rather than something that might be based on their own personal biases.
Evenly distributing the weight of your rubic is actually a mistake as it devalues some of the most important skills a teacher should possess.
5. Too many multiple choice questions
Believe it or not, multiple choice can be used in observations. However, it needs to be simple. Too many questions that require multiple choice answers may hurt the evaluation process than help it.
Some of the other questions should require detailed answers based on the performance of students and teachers. Plus, multiple choice tends to keep observations at the surface rather than give administrator’s an in-depth look.
The deeper you can go with the observation data, the better.
6. Questions with a lack of purpose
As mentioned, depth matters most when it comes to observations. Questions that have no identifiable purpose will mean nothing to the administrator. The questions that need to be laid out must be in detail.
What is the intent of the question? How deep should it go? What are you specifically looking for when the observer is observing the students and teachers?
The real purpose of the questions that has to be addressed. You want to know how the students are performing. You want to know if the teachers are doing a good job putting their skills to good use. You want the observer to explain what strengths and weaknesses to you so you can be in the know and make some potential adjustments if possible.
7. Making inaccurate observations
An observer should come in with a fair and balanced mind. No personal biases should come between themselves and the teachers or students. You want to be fair and impartial.
At the same time, you want to be as accurate as possible with the observations. Ed Techs can observe one thing while a school administrator may see another. An observer must have solid evidence of the teacher’s quality in order to match their observations.
Too many of the inaccurate observations can be a recipe for disaster. Especially when schools are looking to position themselves for more funding at both the state and federal levels.
Every evaluation matters. Especially when school administrators need to know what’s going on throughout the school. They can’t be in every classroom all at the same time. Ed Techs should also play a role in observing each class so they are able to see how both the students and teachers perform.
The mistakes listed above can lead to long-term effects on how a school performs compared to other districts at the state and federal level. Don’t make these seven mistakes at all and your school can be viewed in a more positive light.