School principals and other supervisor-level administrators perform routine teacher evaluations to ensure teachers meet state-mandated and school-issued educational requirements. Administrators must make a list of expectations and standards when they observe classrooms so they have a way to assess and evaluate a teacher's performance. Some goals and objectives are general, such as a teacher's ability to connect with students, and others are more specific, such as a teacher's ability to implement specific lesson plans.
Set High Standards
Develop high and specific standards when creating goals and objectives for teacher evaluations. Your expectations should focus on excellence in the classroom, not minimally acceptable standards, according to The New Teacher Project, a national nonprofit organization founded by educators. For example, rather that creating an assessment goal that says, "Teacher makes an effort to help students understand the lesson," you might write, "Teacher presents information, asks for feedback, repeats complex material, asks guided questions, quizzes students on their understanding and provides visual materials or examples to further students' understanding."
Develop an Extensive List of Criteria
Include a lengthy list of criteria in your teacher evaluation so you have a thorough, well-rounded analysis of each teacher's performance. You don't want to base a teacher's credibility on one or two basic standards. Criteria might include how a teacher plans and organizes lessons, motivates students, communicates subject matter, stays on task, integrates supplemental resources, evaluates student understanding, displays classroom managements skills, disciplines students appropriately, interacts with students, communicates with parents and follows school policies, according to the Performance Evaluation Handbook for Teachers for the Chesterfield County Public Schools in Virginia.
Provide Benchmark Commentary
Make sure your benchmarks include space for commentary and an overall analysis. You don't want your entire teacher evaluation to be based solely on check marks. Teachers want personal feedback that shows you are invested in them and their students. You might list a standard or an expectation, provide a grading scale and leave room beneath the scale for comments or evidence to support your evaluation. Stress the positive as much as possible, and provide constructive criticism where needed. Serious infractions and blatant shortcomings require immediate attention; don't use a handwritten evaluation to address these types of concerns.
Create a Sliding Scale
Develop a list of teacher expectations that can't simply be answered with "yes" or "no" responses. Ensure your list of benchmarks can be evaluated on a sliding scale -- a minimum of four categories for each expectation. For example, you might break your assessment for each standard into these categories: unsatisfactory, needs improvement, demonstrates competency, highly effective and exemplary. Teachers need specific, detailed feedback so they know what areas call for improvement.
- The New Teacher Project: Teacher Evaluation 2.0
- National Council on Teacher Quality: Chesterfield County Public Schools: Performance Evaluation Handbook for Teachers
- Massachusetts Department of Elemantary and Secondary Education: End-of-Cycle Progress Report
- Education World: What Do Principals Look for as They Observe and Evaluate?
As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.