The corporate world measures success by the effect of staff and decision-making on the bottom line. If profits increase the staff are seen to be effective. If decisions taken result in more effective means of bringing in money then surely that team is effective?
Educator success cannot possibly be measured in such terms. I believe that measuring the success of teachers is not an exact science and that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to put measureable outcomes in place. There is an awful lot of subjectivity when it comes to measuring teacher success. Here are 10 outcomes I look for when assessing the effectiveness of my teaching staff :
- The pupils look forward to attending the teachers’ class.
- The teacher is well-prepared for each lesson.
- Every child is given the opportunity to contribute in a way which honours their particular learning style.
- The classroom is a place where learning happens through engagement with the material being taught.
- The teacher’s words and actions in the class provide an emotionally safe place for children to be themselves without fear of ridicule.
- Learning is seen as a collaborative effort – the teacher does not see him/herself as the “Giver of all knowledge”.
- The teacher engages in regular professional development – shown by the journals read, seminars attended, willingness to engage in online experiences with fellow-teachers and an openess to develop the skills required to use social media tools as a means of sharing with other teachers.
- The classroom environment is clean, thoughtfully laid out and age-appropriate.
- There is regular parent engagement.
- The teacher regularly takes learning outside the classroom.
This is by no means a comprehensive list but certainly gives a broad idea of what is important in assessing a teacher’s efficacy. It will be noted that nowhere in this list is a point about grades or assessments. This is intentional. Far too much emphasis is placed on assessments and grading often at the expense of effective classroom practice. The drive to finish the syllabus and produce “A” grade candidates so often compromises the learning process. We cannot measure the success of a teacher by how many “A” students he “processes” each year.
The question then is “How are these outcomes assessed?”. That will be the subject of a future post…
Please leave your thoughts on this topic in the comments. I look forward to engaging with you on this.