Teacher appraisal is dead. We killed it.
THE GOAL: Teacher-learners, who…
- constantly reflect on and strive to improve their practice
- are open to ideas and challenges
- respond to meaningful feedback
- plan for learning with our learning principles in mind
- engage in professional dialogue and reflect collaboratively
- actively seek to learn, grow and change…
THE PROBLEM: None of this was achieved by appraising teachers in the traditional manner we used in the past. A fleeting visit from the head, capturing a moment in time in the classroom, ticking some boxes in terms of ‘performance’… What purpose could that possibly serve? How could we address our school goal of ‘using data to inform teaching and improve learning’ and harness the success of our new coaching initiative to make a real difference to teacher development?
THE PROCESS: Our Teaching and Learning team unpacked our Learning Principles collaboratively. How would they actually look in a learning context? How would teaching and learning reflect our beliefs about how learning best take place? We created a ‘more like /less like’ chart for each of our learning principles, as seen in the draft example below (always a work in progress!)
The decision was made to replace appraisal with a growth model which would achieve the desired goals. Trialling the model with volunteer teachers brought us valuable feedback. Collaboration with our global network garnered further ideas for adaptation…
THE GROWTH REVIEW – A NEW MODEL BASED ON COACHING PRINCIPLES:
Step 1 – Teacher looks at the ‘more like/less’ like charts of our learning principles, reflects on his/her own teaching and self assesses how he/she is applying the learning principles.
Meeting 1 – Teacher and reviewer collaboratively explore and discuss the learning principles and select what the teacher will focus on.
Observation 1 – Reviewer observes for evidence of the selected area of focus, using the ‘more like/ less like’ charts as a guide to facilitate observations and records the data. Evidence might include conversations with students.
Meeting 2 – Teacher and reviewer discuss the data. Teacher reflects on the teaching and learning and the reviewer asks key (coaching style) questions to support the teacher in thinking about possible improvements.
Observation – Reviewer watches for evidence of the selected learning principles, and records the data. Focus on looking for improvements, new things being tried, application of points from the discussion.
Meeting 3 – Teacher reflects on the process with the reviewer, and goals are set for moving forward.
POSSIBLE FOLLOW UP:
- Further observations and meetings if required.
- Peer coaching.
- Discussion about personal learning focus.
- Suggested readings.
- Team teaching.
- Teachers sharing expertise.
- Follow up, once a term to review progress in relation to goals.
Feedback and comments invited, as always!