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"Clear your desks, get out a pencil, it’s time for a pop-quiz!"

Posted by Grace Lee on Aug 25, 2014 8:08:56 AM

Why do people cringe when they hear the words pop-quiz or evaluation?

Because accountability usually has consequences. As educators, we understand the importance of implementation and evaluation. On a daily basis, we teach our students, ask them to implement the skills learned, and then we evaluate their mastery. Without evaluations, there’s no way to measure progress and growth. The same goes for the school's leadership (including the board) and faculty.

If you create an evaluation process that adds value to everyone involved, you communicate your high expectations and develop a solution in the areas that need more attention. When it comes time for evaluations, your faculty wants to be confident that they are well prepared.

You can start by asking two questions:

• What do I want to accomplish from this evaluation?
• How will I use the results to improve the school?

Evaluations created collaboratively with you team will be more effective and widely accepted. In fact, you may even find that the team will set the expectations at higher levels, allowing for greater success overall in the process. When team members are involved in the creation of the evaluation, they are more apt to take ownership and accept the feedback given.

What expectations do you have of your faculty and staff?

Start with the Mission, Culture, Strategies, and Objectives. Include some questions that apply to everyone, then allow each department to supply specific questions just for them. Allow your team to clarify what will be measured specific to them and then communicate clear expectations throughout the school. The resulting focus will be transformative.

How will you rate performance?

Complicated evaluation systems are prevalent in schools, but the best administrators find effective ways to simplify. The secret to success isn’t in a sophisticated process—its in the regular personal dialogue with each team member where you expect the best and genuinely invest your time in them. Define what each rating means. “Average” can mean something different to everyone. Communicate your expectations with clear definitions and descriptions of outcomes. Create a balance between qualitative and quantitative results so that you provide sufficient concreteness.

If you have an effective evaluation tool, process, or technique, would you share with the School Growth community? Email us at Don’t forget to request a copy of our DIY Evaluation Planning Guide!

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