teachin' school

teaching tip 26. how to deal with evaluations, judgment, and criticism! oh, my!

two weeks ago, i got evaluated.  and last week, i had my post-conference meeting.  i’ve been evaluated under a couple different systems, but all of them have been stressful, scary, and time-consuming.  it’s just something you have to deal with as a teacher.  luckily, this year i only had to have one evaluation.  unluckily, i only got to have one evaluation.

one shot.

one shot to do awesome, be mediocre, or suck it up.

one single class period of one day in a year of 187 instructional days.  it’s not fair, but that’s how it is.

last year, i was upset because mine was semi-bad.  not really, it just wasn’t what i wanted.  my principal came one day that would have been great, but had to leave because of an issue in the office.  he came back the next day, but by then it was too late.  the day was a crappy day.  i tried to “put on the show” but it just didn’t fit.  i couldn’t just change everything because he had a copy of my lesson plans in his hands.  i just had to bite the bullet and take it.

this year, it was a good evaluation.  not great though.  just little green checks all down the middle column of “proficient”.  i hate that.  i’d rather have checks all over the place than straight down.  i tried to explain that it was the first day of a project and that he obviously couldn’t see everything.  he knew this.  he’s one of those meticulous principals who looks at your lesson plans and records the evaluation on his iPad to watch back later.  i had to just accept that i was being graded on one day and not the four days of the actual project.  yeah, that’s annoying, but that’s the way it is.

so when you get evaluated, keep in mind:

  1. it’s only one day of your teaching year.
  2. your scores are not necessarily a true reflection of you as a teacher (see #1).
  3. it goes on your personal service record, which follows you forever.
  4. try not to stress too much about it before or during.  just ignore your principal when he’s in there.  if you look at him and see his camera, recorder, and/or notepad, you might freak out.
  5. prep your kids ahead of time so they know he might be coming and tell them to ignore him too.
  6. use your scores as a learning tool, not as pure criticism.  yes, your principal is judging you, but he’s trying to help you too.
  7. be prepared.  when they say “unannounced”, that’s what they mean.  spend extra time on your lesson plans and have everything ready ahead of time.
  8. they’re looking for certain things.  if you know what those things are, try to work them in.  (get yourself some brownie points!)
  9. you won’t convince your principal to change anything during your post-conference meeting.
  10. try not to get emotional or defensive during your post-conference meeting. (i cried in several of them early on.  it’ll be okay!  try not to take it too personally!)
  11. your scores depend on your principal to an extent.  some have specific areas they dwell on and listen to recordings or videos of you three times to make sure they get the scores right.  some spend five minutes doing it and really teach you nothing.

taylor @ a tattooed teacher in texas blog

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3 thoughts on “teaching tip 26. how to deal with evaluations, judgment, and criticism! oh, my!

    1. Sometimes it’s fair, sometimes it’s not. I was evaluated 6 times in one year under one system. That one seemed fair but it was too much work for the principals and teachers and we quit using it after 2 years. It’s just something we have to deal with, I guess!

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