I was racking my brain to come up with a word that started with E. Then, it came to me. If your district is like my district, evaluations have become a huge part of your school life.
I am a lead teacher at my school. That means that I observe other teachers and evaluate their lessons. This is a really awkward position to be in at times because I am still a teacher too. One of my favorite things about doing these evaluations is how much I have learned from observing other teachers. I can sit in a training all day and learn a few things but I learn most from watching others teach.
Here are some of my tips for a successful evaluation:
When you get nervous, you automatically speak faster. It’s natural. It’s difficult for your observer to keep up with you when you speak so quickly. We have to type pretty much everything that the teacher says on a tiny little iPad keyboard. If you speak slower, your observer will get more evidence of you doing all the wonderful things that you do in your lesson.
Have a plan for questioning.
One thing that I have noticed about myself is that when I am observed, I have a tendency to call on the same kids because I know that they will know the answer. I had to make a plan for how I was going to call on different kids and what I would do if they couldn’t answer my questions. “Pick-me sticks” are a great solution to this problem.
These freebies are from Teri from A Cupcake for the Teacher. Be sure to leave her some feedback if you download them.
When students can’t answer your question, think about what you want to do. Do you want them to phone a friend? Do you want to move on to another student and then have the original student repeat the answer? Decide before your lesson and practice this with your students.
Stick to your routine.
If you don’t ever do group work and you decide to throw it in during your evaluation, it’s going to be really obvious that the students have no idea what they are doing. Do what you normally do and your evaluation is going to go so much smoother.
Don’t feel like you have to stick with everything that goes along with your reading series or math series. (This does somewhat depend on your district or school.) Creative lessons are going to better engage the students and this should really help your scores.
If you are in the middle of your lesson and your students aren’t getting it, feel free to improvise and change your lesson to fit where the struggle is. Change your materials, change your activity, pair students up, or take a more direct instruction approach. I’m sure your observer would rather see students meet the objective than to see if you stick exactly to your lesson plan. This is what good teachers do and you shouldn’t be marked down for it during your evaluation.
I hope these tips help you during your evaluations. These tips come from my experience being evaluated and being the evaluator but some of these tips will depend on the culture of your school.
Do you have any great tips for evaluations? Leave a comment with your great idea.
Check out my next blog post about Fact Fluency.