5 Ways to Build a Comprehensive Evaluation System

Instructional leaders today are expected to do more than ever: conduct more observations, debrief with teachers, and develop personalized growth plans. It's a new world for teachers too, many of whom aren’t used to being observed multiple times in a schoolyear.

Teachscape's comprehensive solution for teacher evaluation helps school systems improve instructional practice while meeting federal and state requirements regarding evaluation. Districts can implement this modular solution all at once or one component at a time.

1. Build a common language for teaching effectiveness

To evaluate instructional practice, we first need to understand and agree upon what effective teaching looks like. Teachscape Focus offers training and calibration to observers using the Framework for Teaching so they can accurately evaluate teaching practice and provide meaningful feedback. Focus establishes inter-rater reliability through online training modules, scoring practice exercises, and assessment.

2. Assess teaching practice accurately and holistically

Teachscape Reflect, a complete observation and evaluation management system, streamlines the evaluation process while maintaining the integrity of evidence-based evaluations. Flexible and configurable, the system allows each school systems to use its own evaluation rubrics, forms, processes, and workflows.

3. Analyze evaluation data

All the data in the world isn’t very helpful without a means to view and analyze it. Reflect’s reporting tools inform conversations with practitioners, facilitate progress monitoring, and help determine where to focus professional development.

Tools alone aren’t enough. Educators need to allocate sufficient time to review and analyze results, debrief evaluations, and plan for improvement. School systems can structure this time in evaluation plans by incorporating steps like post-observation conferences, self-assessment forms, and goal-setting activities.

4. Evaluate to learn

The most effective evaluation systems emphasize professional growth, not compliance. And how participants view teacher evaluation makes a difference. Approaching evaluations with a growth mindset influences how observers and teachers reflect on and discuss observations.

Incorporating frequent formative observations and walkthroughs provides educators with helpful, ongoing feedback on practice without the added pressure that even the best-intentioned “high stakes” evaluation system can exert.

Access to relevant, high-quality professional development resources is critical too. Teachscape Learn provides educators with over 170 research-to-practice pre-K–12 courses, 250 video exemplars of authentic classroom practice, online learning communities, video upload and sharing tools, and personalized learning plans.

5. Use the right tools to build evaluations

Though designing, developing, and implementing comprehensive evaluations can appear daunting, this process need not prove difficult. With a sound approach and the right tools, school systems can build evaluations that feed a cycle of continuous improvement and result in better learning experiences for all students.

Teachscape can help make this process easier.

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