Teacher Talk by Kim Jones
Last week I talked about change at Elsberry Schools, another big change for this year will be the evaluation of teachers. Long gone are the days when the principal came into the classroom and evaluated the teacher with pen and paper. The teacher would fill out a form with lesson objectives, steps for teaching, learning activities to take place, and how a student’s understanding of the subject would be checked. The principal would then respond by filling out his observation of how the teacher performed. The checklist included numerous areas of education and then was marked “meets expectations” or “does not meet expectations”. The result signified recommendation for re-employment or not recommend.
Fast forward to 2013 and enter, “technology”. Elsberry Schools is one of many around the state that is contracting with the University of Missouri, College of Education ARC & RPDC, to use a program called Network for Educator Effectiveness (NEE) to evaluate teachers. This is a comprehensive system for enhancing the effectiveness of K-12 educators. It includes a web-based platform for storing and managing data on each educator in the building/district. There are five sources of data (see features) stored together. The NEE trains administrators to make consistent and reliable assessments of classroom behaviors, content knowledge, and preparation of units of instruction and personal development plans. NEE also links local professional development opportunities to specific areas of need indicated in the five data sources.
This innovative system is based on the new Missouri Educator Standards and Indicators. It creates a common understanding among all teachers, principals, and administrators of the criteria, standards, and rubrics used for evaluation.
NEE focuses on helping teachers grow and improve. It assists principals in developing the skills of each teacher from the beginning, first-year instructor through and including mid-career and experienced practitioners. The NEE is a cohesive system helping administrators in their responsibility to improve teaching effectiveness in their buildings and districts.
Administrators spent numerous hours this summer and many hours since school has started learning the program. They will enter the classroom with their IPAD’s in hand a minimum of eight times a year to gather data on individual teachers. Teachers will have access to the data after an administrator has been into the classroom to evaluate.
At Elsberry Schools, we expect our students to excel in the classroom, and nothing less is accepted from the teachers.