We share evidence-based K-12 learning strategies that empower you to improve education.
No, As I am the only teacher teaching business subjects in my middle school, I would not like other teachers in my school to evaluate my methods of teaching. Also, there are only 5 out of 12 middle schools in my district with business teachers, and the five of us don't necessarily teach the same courses; nor do we use the same textbooks.
Having worked in business for several years and receiving annual evaluations there, I see good reason for including peer teachers as reviewers. In the 360 degree feedback currently used in many businesses, feedback is gathered from anyone you work under, work with, or supervise. This would include principals, teachers, parents and students. It would be the responsibility of the principal to sort through the feedback - some of it might be inappropriate - but definitely get it!
My fellow teachers know more about what happens in my classroom than anyone else beside the students.
No evaluation system is perfect. I got plenty of biased reviews in my business working days - that's just the way the cookie crumbles. I keep hearing about why there would be problems with it. Yes, there will be problems, but doing it is better than not doing it.
I'm adding to my earlier post. My district is now observing and evaluating teachers using the TAP method. http://www.talentedteachers.org/
It is RIGOROUS! I'm not against rigor but there are some issues that I have and perhaps that's with the way my district is using the model as a competition amongst staff members for a pool of money. It's not necessarily lending itself to collaboration. But there are some good elements. The pre-post observation discussions that I've had with mentor/master teachers, rather than the administrators have been far more valuable to me.
As I recently posted on my blog, I have started sharing a weekly word cloud of my observations as I walk around the school using my mobile device and Google docs. When question about what I was doing on my phone all the time, I showed them and invited them to come an watch me. I think it is valuable to share what I have learned and to have them question my practice as well as theirs. I'm still waiting for them to come and join me.
If teachers were given the opportunity to evaluate each other (with proper training), I think that children would benefit. Egos would have to be left "at the door" and there would have to be safe-guards for preventing teachers from using the process to promote their own self advancement at the expense of the teacher(s) they were observing.
I would value being observed by my peers more than by administrators who may not have any expertise in my subject area(s). It would provide me with opportunities to reflect on my teaching and get feedback on my teaching style, my ability to "reach" my students, and alternate ways of approaching the teaching of a particular concept.
I believe we can learn a lot from each other and the evaluation process is critical to growth. I like the ideas I have seen here about administration doing the formal evaluation based on input from a variety of sources.
Teachers are in the classroom and deal with kids all the time. Who is a better judge than a teacher to evaluate another teacher. However, we must be careful that it doesn't get personal and is done in a completely professional manner.
--but I've also seen good things turned into nightmares when the wrong administrator steers it in a bad direction. I like the idea of three teachers doing the evaluation, with at least one of them chosen by the teacher being observed. The observations should occur several times during the school year, and supported with pre- and post-observation discussions.
Teachers evaluating teachers would be beneficial in many ways... but 2 of the most important:
1. Teachers KNOW teaching strategies, Response to intervention strategies and curriculum standards better than administrators
2. Teachers who evaluate other teachers enjoy a 'free' professional development opportunity to learn and collaborate with colleagues
My district is already in the process of changing how teachers are evaluated and given feedback. There are issues, like jumping into something without having all the answers first. But part of this model does require peer observations with feedback. I'm all for it! I'd rather have colleagues evaluate my teaching practice than an administrator who hasn't been in the classroom for over 20 years!