Teacher evaluation is a “song and dance” that rarely reflects reality, writes Mr. AB. The teacher, knowing when the evaluation is scheduled, prepares a detailed lesson plan that would take far too much time to do every day for every class. On evaluation day, the teacher delivers a carefully selected lesson.
. . . we are able to assure that we will be teaching our best possible lesson and be at our most obscenely over-prepared, well-stocked with carefully differentiated materials, painstakingly made hands-on activities, key cross-disciplinary connections, and deeply meaningful realia, — all the trappings of a great teacher, all impossible for the new teacher to have on hand with the daily frequency we wish we could.
Teachers know what the evaluator wants and provide it, whether it’s what the students need or not.
There is no real assessment of our daily, meaningful implementation of best practices. There is no evaluation of what is actually experienced by our students.
Mr. AB suggests requiring teachers to submit their weekly plans — the real ones they use for teaching.
We need to establish expectations that should be visible in any meaningful lesson. Informed by our actual lesson plans, our evaluator comes in at two or three appropriate times, unannounced, over the course of a week and stays for an hour, assessing our success in meeting those expectations.
. . . Teachers donâ€™t need to be evaluated on what they can do, given unlimited prep time and warned well in advance, they need to be evaluated on what they actually do, every day.
That leads to another issue: Can most evaluators recognize good teaching and provide useful feedback to teachers who need guidance? Who shall evaluate the evaluators?