Tuesday, March 31, 2015

360 Degree Teacher Evaluations

An interesting perspective came up during Rocks or Sucks at #EdcampJoplin. The topic was student surveys for teacher evaluation. Do you think surveying students, and including the information in teacher evaluations rocks or sucks? More people than you or I would imagine chose that it "rocks." A few were on the fence and had pros and cons. Of course there were a few that thought it was a TERRIBLE idea.

The gentleman standing next to me, I completely apologize for not knowing his name, said that he would like to have a 360 degree evaluation. He wants principal input, student input, parent input, AND co-worker input. I love this idea! He didn't think is entire lively-hood should rest in the hands of one person. I agree!

As a principal I think I have a pretty good pulse on my teachers and what's going in their classrooms. I try to be in classrooms all the time. But there have been times I have been caught off guard and not known about something that other teachers have known about.

As a student, how many of you have taken graduate/college courses and evaluated your teachers? Have you been honest? Have you heard if the teacher has changed/improved over time? If my honest feedback is helpful for that professor then the purpose has been accomplished.

As a parent, I have been fortunate that my children attend my school so I actually know exactly what is going on. I would put my children in any classroom in my building. But.....if my feedback helps a teacher improve then heck yes I want to help them. When I was a teacher I did something that new teachers do that was really stupid. I look back and wish my principal would have told me and had an honest conversation with me. But he/she didn't.  Had I known at the time I would have fixed it and handled the lesson differently. Instead, I did the same dumb thing 3 years in a row until I observed it handled another way.

As a colleague, I would LOVE to hear what other principals think. Especially what I am doing well of course:) I bet the other 4 principals in my district see things in me and my leadership that I could tweak a little.

Having said all of this....... I do realize that it takes a great deal of trust to pull this off. I believe there needs to be an extremely high level of transparency. You have to know from the beginning that this is how you will be evaluated. We aren't doing anyone any favors by sugar coating everything.

What are your thoughts about 360 degree evaluations???