How Do We Identify Good Teaching?


Silverstein-s120x148As ASCD’s Annual Conference approaches, I’m excited to talk with colleagues about the many different ways we make a difference in the lives of children and, more specifically, how we identify good teaching.

When I first started teaching, the difference between “superior,” “satisfactory,” and “needs improvement” teachers usually boiled down to whether or not the principal liked you. Not very useful or objective.

Today, many districts are experimenting with new ways to evaluate teachers. Meanwhile, teachers constantly self-evaluate by engaging in their own action research; they reflect on their days and decide what strategies helped students learn and what strategies could have been more effective. How can and should evaluations by administrators or master teachers add to this?

Does evaluation look the same for all teachers at all grade levels? Should it include test scores? Do we evaluate and also support teachers through the evaluation process? How do we use teacher evaluation to not just improve one teacher but education across the nation?

Post submitted by Sabrina Silverstein, master teacher in District of Columbia Public Schools and an ASCD Annual Conference Scholar.