Making Teacher Evaluation Work by Rachael E. Gabriel, Sarah L. Woulfin.
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Making Teacher Evaluation Work
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Making Teacher Evaluation Work

A Guide for Literacy Teachers and Leaders

Take the stress out of teacher evaluations with Making Teacher Evaluation Work. Rachael and Sarah examine the roles of teachers, teacher leaders, coaches, and principals in supporting high-quality literacy instruction in the context of accountability and evaluation policy.

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"In an ideal world policy makers would never consider implementing an evaluation scheme that had generated no supportive research base. We don’t live in an ideal world as evidenced by the various state teacher evaluation schemes, none of which has been found to provide reliable evidence of effective teaching or learning. Luckily, Gabriel and Woulfin offer us an informed alternative, one that allows us to evaluate literacy teachers’ performance and to promote their growth. Read this book and then pass it along to your colleagues, your school administrator, or to a member of your local board of education."

-Richard Allington 

Teacher evaluation is stressful. With mixed messages about the policies, purposes, and processes, more often than not teacher evaluations leave everyone feeling confused, anxious, and disillusioned. But what if there was a way to not only improve the evaluation process, but use evaluation as a way to improve teaching and learning?

Making Teacher Evaluation Work is a resource for teachers and evaluators to read together, filling a much-needed role by providing valuable information about every step of the evaluation process. Rachael Gabriel and Sarah Woulfin walk you through the entire process ­­from policy to practice, ­­offering context and strategies with the goal of improving the teacher evaluation process for everyone involved and support student literacy learning. 

Starting with a clearly organized table of contents designed to help you find what you need when you need it, Rachael and Sarah examine the roles of teachers, teacher leaders, coaches, and principals in supporting high-quality literacy instruction in the context of accountability and evaluation policy. Each chapter is framed by a key question, followed by numerous scenarios, and a shareable list of points and take-and-go activities. Rachael and Sarah offer specific language and examples that will help:  

  • create common language and standards around evaluation issues, trends, and policies
  • get and give clear and actionable feedback
  • set goals that inspire rather than restrict
  • select authentic measures for student growth and achievement.
We know high expectations without support doesn't work for students. It doesn't work for teachers either. Making Teacher Evaluation Work shows that teacher evaluations don't have to be unproductive, but can provide the foundation for a collaborative evaluation process that improves literacy instruction, promotes teacher growth, and supports school-wide improvement.
 

In Depth

As former reading teachers, literacy coaches, and current researchers who prepare both teachers and leaders, we have watched the proliferation and reach of this new generation of teacher evaluation policies change the volume and focus of conversations about teaching and learning in schools. This has led us to ask two questions that are the driving forces behind the research, examples, and strategies presented in this book:

  1. How can evaluation be implemented as a lever for improving literacy instruction?
  2. How can teachers and leaders learn about and advocate for high- quality evaluation practices that support student literacy learning?

In the chapters that follow, we present our answers to these questions. In doing so, we argue that evaluation can indeed be used to support literacy teaching and learning, but only if teachers and leaders have a shared understanding of excellent literacy instruction, and of teacher evaluation in the context of accountability policies. Shared knowledge of both is required if teachers and leaders are to make teacher evaluation work for them.

We organize the book into eight chapters on evaluation, literacy instruction, and each component of new-generation evaluation policies. Key questions frame each chapter and are followed by descriptions of scenarios that highlight the importance and complexity of focusing evaluation on literacy instruction. These scenarios are based on common stories that we see unfolding across schools, districts, and states as they tackle new policies. Some happened this way, but others are composites of stories we hear over and over again from teachers and evaluators in different settings. We discuss each scenario in terms of the research and practice principles that could guide teachers and administrators in similar situations. Then, we present how topics tie to the measure and sort and support and develop logics. Finally, we conclude each chapter with a shareable list of key points and a take-and-go activity to share with your professional community.

— From the Introduction

Samples

Companion Resources

Appendixes

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8