Teacher evaluation is one of the most pressing topics these days in U.S. schools. As new models—and attendant controversy—roll out across the country, it’s interesting to look back at the lessons of “The Metropolitan Teaching Effectiveness Cadre” (PDF), from the February 1986 issue of Educational Leadership magazine.
Read the article: The Metropolitan Teaching Effectiveness Cadre (PDF)
The story of Karen, a veteran Missouri teacher, preparing for and undergoing her teaching observation and subsequent conference is a powerful case study in the benefits of collaboration. As part of a program involving 22 school districts from Kansas and Missouri, Karen’s principal was joined by a visiting principal from a nearby district for both the evaluation and the conference, opening up the professional worlds of both the teacher and her principal.
Karen, expecting to be critiqued on her classroom’s tidiness and her appearance, instead gets positive feedback on her instructional practices. Karen’s principal admits to never witnessing another educator conduct a conference, having never been in one as a teacher himself. The lessons these educators learned may seem old hat today, but the importance of collaboration remains a principle that deserves repeating.