Managing a school abroad can come with its fair share of challenges. You are immersed in a multi-cultural environment, students often come from ESL backgrounds, and the teachers come from many different corners of the world.
Evaluating your staff is one of the most important aspects of ensuring a high-functioning learning environment. As an administrator, we’re sure you do your utmost in terms of teacher evaluation, but there are always new ways to strengthen your teacher evaluation process.
Tips for your teacher evaluations
Utilize all available tools
The best part about teaching in the 21st century is that schools are gifted with so much more technology than they were even 10-20 years ago. Think of all the tools you have at your disposal – like your phone. That’s right, we now have the amazing ability to record high-quality videos and communicate with virtually anyone right from anywhere at any time.
No time to observe every teacher in your school? No problem! Have them record a lesson, and both of you can go over it later. This can also easily be shared with multiple observers or to other teachers as an example for them to learn from.
This is actually far more time-efficient than in-person observations and can even allow teachers to be observed more frequently, thereby allowing more coaching opportunities and chances for improvement.
Always get a second opinion
For anyone that’s ever been to the doctor’s office, they’ve heard the phrase “you’re welcome to get a second opinion”. When it comes to medicine, doctors are well-trained and wise beyond their years, however, in some cases, the more people that can tackle an issue, the better (assuming all are qualified).
What that means for the world of education is that in schools, there will always be many well-qualified people that can not only observe teachers, but also provide meaningful feedback and opinions. Other administrators, department heads, and even other teachers are all people that might be beneficial to include in your observations.
Running a school is not a job for one person, but rather it is the job of a team, and the more that team can work cohesively together, the better. Give other teachers the chance to provide feedback about their peers, as well as even offer their own insights into what works and what doesn’t work. They might even thank you for the extra responsibility and the fact that they are included. There have been many accounts of school districts having great success with this.
Of course, don’t bring a massive group of people into the room during your observations, as sometimes there can be too many cooks in the kitchen. However, a small team might be able to work more efficiently and offer better insight compared to the subjective opinion of just one person.
Provide feedback and advice through coaching
While this one might be a no-brainer to some, make sure that the feedback you are providing is something that can be coached. In other words, there’s no need to just sit around and pass judgements about silly things while observing your teacher – give praise and criticism where needed.
Make sure there’s follow-through with the feedback you are giving. Offer advice and the proper training so that your teachers can internalize what was discussed and begin to improve.
The same goes for anyone else involved in the evaluation process. Make sure they are well-qualified as both observers and coaches. After all, we do want the teachers to improve and give them the resources to be able to do so. Constructive feedback is effective, however giving them the opportunity to learn and grow through coaching will create an even better environment with more effective results.
Familiarize yourself with modern evaluation models and adapt
Education has come a long way since the days of Socrates’ lectures. Models of evaluation have not only changed, but they have also drastically improved. However, newer does not always mean better. The effectiveness of certain evaluation models can depend not only on the teachers being evaluated, but also the culture of the school and the environment in which the teaching is performed.
Is your model consistent from term to term?
Do teachers actually believe in the evaluation model?
These are a few things to consider when comparing and choosing evaulation models. While selecting your evaluation model, open things up for discussion. Find out what other teachers have used in the past and what they like and dislike about certain models. Collaborate, grow, and improve.
Offer on-going evaluation and support
The admin life can be time-consuming, but it’s important to always make sure that you’re there for your teachers. Whether it be through formal or informal observation, always be the administrator that is keen to offer support, feedback, and the right coaching when necessary.
Your teachers will thank you for your approachability, and you set them up for future career success, be it in the near future, or well into their teaching careers. The better environment you can provide for your teachers, the happier they will be to be working at your school.
Need to hire more teachers for your school? Learn more about our teacher recruitment services.