Teacher evals should better reflect needs of profession

Charlotte Danielson’s article in Education Week has been on my to-read list since it came out, and I’m glad I finally got to it. Chalked full of ideas and thoughtfulness, it’s a must read for any administrator looking to create a better culture around the profession of learning.  

My favorite spot:  

“There is professional consensus that the number of teachers whose practice is below standard is very small, probably no more than 6 percent of the total, according to the Measures of Effective Teaching study and others…

Given this landscape, it makes sense to design personnel policies for the vast majority of teachers who are not in need of remediation. And, given the complexity of teaching, a reasonable policy would be one that aims to strengthen these educators’ practice. Personnel policies for the teachers not practicing below standard—approximately 94 percent of them—would have, at their core, a focus on professional development, replacing the emphasis on ratings with one on learning.”

Yes! Teachers are masters of the social science of learning. Our profession of understanding learning is twofold: one is student-facing and one is profession-facing. It’s like a good psychologist: they know how to navigate a session and what to prescribe for a patient to improve their mental health & at the same time they are constantly learning more about the science of psychology in their field. 

Looking forward to new ways to support this profession as it grows into a respected field.