On today’s Heinemann Podcast, taking charge of your teaching evaluation. Evaluations can feel like a one-way street, with teachers feeling powerless. It doesn't have to be that way, Author Jennifer Ansbach writes about how we can take charge of evaluations by keeping the focus on student learning. In her new book, Take Charge of your Teaching Evaluation, she writes about the story of your practice.
We started out asking her what she means by that and why our story of practice is so important?
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The following is an excerpt from the introduction to Take Charge of Your Teaching Evaluation by Jennifer Ansbach
Tell Your Story
In 2005, I attended a summer teaching institute for the humanities. Over the course of the week, the twenty-five participants grew to learn more not only about the subject matter we were studying but also about the teaching contexts that vary so widely in our state. At the time, I was teaching in one of my state’s neediest districts, and I saw my attendance at the institute as a way to be certain I was doing right by my students. At the end of the week, as we were sharing ways we could use what we had learned to create new units for our students, a woman who was a supervisor at a nearby district said to me, “Wow. I didn’t know your district had teachers like you. I would have hired you.”
This comment stunned me. First, I realized that she assumed I was teaching in my district because I had been turned down by other districts. But I had applied only to the district I was teaching in: I had been looking for a change and a challenge. Second, in that moment I understood how the larger world saw my colleagues and me—because we taught in what was labeled a failing school district, we were failures, also.