This is the case in many school districts today. Teacher evaluation, many times, is not meaningful and does not help teachers grow and progress in their own learning.
|By Dmitrij.shpilchevskij [CC BY-SA 3.0] |
via Wikimedia Commons
Airline pilots have additional flight reviews 6, 9 or 12 months depending on the company's requirements, this is called re-current training and is designed to keep them up on safety and other procedures.
The great part about flight reviews is that a pilot does not just fail and stop being a pilot. If there are any shortcomings or missing knowledge, the flight instructor works with the pilot to help them learn the needed information or skills. If a pilot does not pass their flight review, they cannot fly solo until they do. A flight instructor is assigned to help them until they improve and pass.
Maybe as educators we can learn something from the flight review process.
What if teachers had 'flight reviews'?We could call them Instructional Practice Reviews (IPRs). Or, we could broaden this to include technology, pedagogy and content knowledge and call them TPACK reviews. IPRs could include an oral assessment as well as classroom observation.
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via wikimedia commons
If a teacher was struggling or not performing at a certain level they could be assigned a coach or mentor to monitor their recurrent training. This training might consist of co-teaching, modeling, coursework, conferences, peer observation or other learning. A follow up IPR 3 or 6 months later could determine if they were making significant progress and able to 'fly solo' again.
If the goal is to provide a guaranteed curriculum and best first teaching for all students, then we need a system in place that helps teachers continually grow and improve. We know that ongoing, job embedded, personalized professional learning is key. With the achievement gap that now exists and the technology gap that is beginning to become evident among our students, we need to develop a teacher evaluation system that truly supports educators and helps them improve.
This is my first post on this topic. I will continue to think and research about ways we can improve teacher professional learning and evaluation. What do you think? I would love other input and ideas.