Here is the final installment to my Less-Stressful Evaluation series. My goal was to show new teachers what a formal evaluation looked like, using my recent evaluation as an example. I thought it would be a good idea to give new teachers a “heads up” to what their administrators will be looking for when they walk into the classroom with their clipboards.
The last state standard for teachers that we’ll go over is: Developing as a Professional Educator
This standard really can’t be observed in a classroom. My principal used our post-observation meeting to ask me about this.
Here are the subcategories:
Standard 6.1: Reflecting on teaching practice in support of student learning
After every lesson, you have to ask yourself, “What worked? What didn’t work?” You’ll know if a lesson bombs, and trust me, there will be lessons that you spend hours preparing, and when it comes time to implement it, it will fail miserably. Don’t get down on yourself. It’s part of the learning process. Find out why it didn’t work, and adjust your plan accordingly.
Standard 6.2: Establishing professional goals and engaging in continuous and purposeful professional growth and development
I think the main goal for the first year teachers is to survive the first year. After that, you should start looking to become the best teacher you can be. That will probably include additional course work or attending conferences or learning from a mentor teacher. I thought I was an amazing teacher my first year. Now I look back and realize how much I didn’t know. Keep learning.
Standard 6.3: Collaborating with colleagues and the broader professional community to support teacher and student learning
Again, if you want to grow and be a better teacher, you can’t be an island. There are so many opportunities to collaborate now, especially online, that there is no excuse not to grow. Reading this blog is a sign that you are looking to become a better teacher. I hope my posts are giving you some ideas on how to find more success in your classroom.
Standard 6.4: Working with families to support student learning
This is an area where teachers struggle. It’s not easy to connect with families like we would like. There are time constraints, scheduling conflicts, etc. that prevent us from including the family in the learning process. Back to school nights help, but once or twice a year is not enough to really create that connection we need. An attempt, however, must be made to involve the family. The use of email or agendas that require parent signature can help to keep the lines of communication open.
Standard 6.5: Engaging local communities in support of the instructional program
Keep an eye out for community organizations that offer help to schools. This is a tough goal to accomplish, especially for new teachers. Even more experienced teachers find it difficult to find time to connect with the community. There are groups out there, however, like the fire department, museums, libraries, that will come in and give short presentations to your students. This year, I accomplished this by putting on the 5K Run for Gage event. Even though it wasn’t related to my history class, it did bring in several community groups in an event that taught my students a lesson on giving back.
Standard 6.6: Managing professional responsibilities to maintain motivation and commitment to all students
Just do your job. Don’t let your other responsibilities – family, a second job, your softball league, etc. get in the way of what you’re being paid to do. I know family comes first, but if dropping your child off at daycare means that you get to school late, you’re going to be given poor marks on your evaluation.
Standard 6.7: Demonstrating professional responsibility, integrity, and ethical conduct
I wish I could say that all teachers meet this goal, but unfortunately, I can’t. You’re going to meet teachers who have little or no integrity. They will lie to save their own skin. They’ll throw anybody, even you, under the bus. They’ll be involved in activities outside of school that are not ethical, and they’ll discuss it around the lunch table like there’s nothing wrong with it. Don’t be like them. Teaching, unfortunately, is not as respected as it used to be. It is, however, still an honorable profession. We need to defend this honor with our actions.
Well, there you have it.
I hope that by going over the state standards for teaching, I’ve been able to make that evaluation day that’s coming a little less scary.
I would appreciate any comments, questions, or even criticisms about what I’ve discussed.
Thanks again for taking the time to read these posts.
Until next time, here’s to lots of Success in the Classroom!