For the decades of my teaching career, I’ve passed through myriad teacher evaluation instruments. There were the years of the checklists, years of narratives, and now we’ve had years of SGOs and SGPs. There are arguments to be made for all of these, yet I don’t think any of them actually measures the value of a teacher.
When my children were in school, I valued the teachers that held my kids to high standards and demanded excellence in their work. I valued the teachers that enabled my children to be their own best selves. I valued the teachers that helped my children engage with others and form opinions and defend them. I valued the teachers that had pretty bulletin boards and stayed after school for extra help. I valued the teachers that gave my kids a little emotional support when they were down.
Those things are immeasurable.
SGOs and SGPs and PDPs and whatever other acronym they’re going to make up and throw at us with the next iteration will never appropriately identify what it is that makes a teacher grand. You can’t measure relationships with a rubric.
Let’s talk about teacher evaluations in the Corona Era. Now that we’re at the bare bones of what education IS – teachers and students communicating together for the advancement of knowledge and skills – maybe it’s time to reevaluate how we measure the quality of a teacher.
I don’t know the right answer, but I’ve lived through several decades of the wrong answer. Leaders, please look at what’s happening now. With absolutely no training and little, if any, planning time, teachers are crushing it. Not to mention the hundreds of (viral) videos of teachers in their cars parading past their students’ houses or singing songs to remind their students of how much they care.
Find me a rubric that measures that.