Teaching is a great and noble profession, and one has to undergo sound education and training before becoming a good and effective teacher. The field of education is ever evolving, and so are the expectations and demands on educators, as they are responsible for shaping a child’s future, which goes far beyond just imparting knowledge. Evaluating teachers is the basis of determining the competency of teachers and is done to promote their professional enhancement and development. It is integral to maintaining the standard and quality of the educational eco-system.
First, we need to consider the definition of teacher evaluation. It is a systematic and well-defined process to assess the performance and teaching effectiveness of a teacher in the classroom. This process involves reviewing the performance, as well as analysing the same, to give a constructive and positive feedback for the professional growth of the teacher. Some of the major benefits of teacher evaluation include the following:
• It enables tracking performance-levels in the institution, which in turn makes the stakeholders better equipped to identify and solve institutional challenges.
• Regular evaluations lead to improvement of teacher performance.
• Based on their respective capabilities and contributions, precise ranks may be assigned to all the teachers in the institution, and additional responsibilities can be given to them on this basis.
• It enables the management to identify and reward teachers who have exceptional teaching talent and for their excellent service delivery.
• It aids in the identification of gaps in teaching-learning methods which may be leading to poor performance among students.
• It forms the basis of removing unproductive teachers (after giving them ample opportunities for improvement) from the system and replacing them with efficient ones to maintain the quality of education.
• It helps in making well-informed decisions regarding appraisals and promotions.
• It helps in the creation of job descriptions of prospective teachers and also gives productive insights in making data-driven decisions in the education sector.
• It encourages teachers to perform better when the management communicates with them and appreciates their work, which in turn leads to continuous improvement in their work.
• The management has the responsibility for the over-all growth of the teachers and ‘teacher evaluation’ serves as the tool for empowering them just as they are responsible for empowering the students.
The criteria and strategies of teacher evaluation is dynamic and have been evolving over the time and as per the requirements of educational institutions. Some of the important criteria and their descriptors are given below and the evaluator has to check whether the teacher fulfils the same.
1. Effective Planning
• follows the prescribed curriculum and lesson-plan
• uses appropriate teaching aids, materials and resources
• plans assignments, activities, and resources appropriate to the abilities of the students, including those with special needs
• displays time-management and flexibility in planning
• is able to plan student grouping based on instructional requirements
2. Implementation of the Lesson
• makes the lesson objectives clear to the students
• is able to retain student attention
• connects the lesson to previous and future lessons
• provides appropriate and real-life examples
• presents concepts clearly and logically, and reinforces them
• continuously monitors students’ learning and provides feedback
• smoothly transitions from one activity to another
3. Student Interaction and Motivation
• displays concern for students
• uses students’ interests and backgrounds, along with intrinsic/extrinsic rewards
• uses appropriate and encouraging tone/feeling
• is capable of establishing a level of difficulty which promotes success
• creates an engaging learning environment for each student to display initiative and be participative
4. Subject/Curriculum Knowledge
• exhibits accurate and up-to-date subject and curriculum knowledge
• gives effective examples and illustrations
• connects the learning content with instructional objectives
• logically presents subject content
5. Effective Communication
• speaks clearly with proper pronunciation, intonation, and voice modulation
• displays excellent presentation skills
• interacts well with students by praising, eliciting, and responding to their questions
• displays enthusiasm and involvement while delivering lessons
• expresses ideas clearly and logically
6. Student Achievement
• clearly communicates performance expectations to students
• ensures participation from all students
• uses effective evaluative techniques to monitor student progress
• gives evaluative feedback on time to determine level of learning
• promotes 21st century skills by using higher order questioning techniques
• creates opportunities for one-to-one discussion on student progress
• has problem-solving skills to help students overcome their challenges
7. Effective Time-Management and Class Management
• schedules learning time and is punctual
• keeps the management time and transition time to a minimum
• manages discipline as per school policy, and promotes self-discipline
• constructively manages disruptive behaviour, demonstrating fairness and consistency
• sets and communicates clear parameters for classroom behaviour
8. Interaction with Parents and Community
• creates opportunities for community involvement with the school
• communicates effectively with the parents in the best interests of the child
• encourages and supports parent-teacher collaborative activities
9. Interaction with Management and Peers
• follows all policies, protocols and procedures set by the school management
• displays team spirit and cooperates well with peers, sharing ideas and views with them
• submits all reports and documentation on time
• displays initiative for special events and activities
10. Inclination towards Professional Growth
• actively participates in professional workshops, meetings, training programs, peer-reviews, and self-appraisal
• is engaged with continuing education
• is associated with professional committees and associations
• is up to date with the developments in subject area as well as the education sector in general
Though various methods and strategies can be used for teacher evaluation, they must be effective, reliable, practical, and efficient. Some of the measures are given below:
1. Classroom Observation: This is performed by the principal, vice-principal, coordinators, and subject heads. It is used to measure various classroom processes including aspects of teaching, and subject-specific or context-specifics of practice by the teacher. Particular teacher practices, holistic aspects of instruction, interaction of the teacher with the students, classroom management, and so on, can be observed and evaluated. A specific form can be created for this purpose using the various evaluation criteria, which the evaluators can fill while observing the teacher inside the classroom.
2. Instructional Artifacts: Structured protocols can be used for the analysis of classroom artifacts like lesson plans, teacher assignments and assessments, scoring rubrics, and student work and correction, to determine the quality of classroom instruction. A wide variety of criteria such as authenticity, alignment to standards, clarity, effectiveness, comprehensiveness, and the like, can be used by the evaluators.
3. Peer Evaluation: Other teachers are assigned to examine the lesson-plan, class-room plan, assessments, and assignments used by a teacher. It allows educators to assess and provide feedback on their colleagues. This is helpful in gathering information not only on the work ethics of teachers but also about their behaviour outside the classroom. Specific peer-evaluation forms that lists questions in line with the assessment criteria, can be used for this purpose.
4. Self-Assessment: This helps the teachers in identifying their challenging areas and describing their goals and accomplishments. It means they can critically evaluate their own knowledge, performance, and output for further improvement. This gives them the ownership and control of their own professional growth. Guidelines and tools for self-assessment can be created and provided to the teachers by the school.
5. Student Surveys and Ratings: Students are the end-consumers of the services provided by the teachers and are capable of providing feedback on their perception of a teacher’s performance. They can do so by filling out survey forms created for this task. In order to encourage the students to share their thoughts and views freely without fear of victimization, they may be allowed to do this anonymously.
We can conclude by emphasising on the important things that need to be kept in mind while preparing for teacher evaluation exercise. Firstly, the school needs to decide on the type of teacher evaluation and who would conduct the assessment. Then, the parameters or criteria for the evaluation need to be defined. This is followed by getting everyone on board by briefing the stakeholders regarding the criteria of evaluation, which ensures transparency in the system. The results of the assessment should be shared with the teachers by the way of positive and constructive feedback, highlighting their strengths and the areas needing improvement. Awards, promotions, and professional development workshops and trainings can be based on the results of teacher evaluation.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.