Thursday, March 3, 2016

Day 3: Teacher Evaluations

This year is my year to get evaluated by my principal. During an evaluation cycle, I am visited twice; once in the Fall and again in the Winter/Spring. The first time this year, my principal observed a reading lesson. It was rough. The kids and I had really not found our groove yet. It goes without saying that there was plenty for my principal to put in the "Areas of Refinement" section of the evaluation report. Today, I had my post-observation conference for my second observation and it was great! I have to say, I rocked that evaluation. But, I can't say that I have always held that outlook.

To give you a little background, I get extremely nervous whenever I am evaluated or observed by anyone. I used to hate having other teachers in my room. I learned in college that I suffer from the "imposter phenomenon". Have you heard of this? It's the belief that you are faking your way through whatever it is that you are doing and someone will eventually find you out and call you on it. I have had many dreams over the years in which my colleagues or principal come into my room, watch my teaching, and then say, "Who gave you a teaching license?! You have no business being a teacher!" I kid you not! For years, this thinking had me on pins and needles whenever someone wanted to visit my classroom or I had an observation. 

But over the last year or so something has changed. I don't know if I finally have gotten to the point where I really do think that I know what I'm doing, or if I have just gotten used to having people in my room. Our reading intervention teacher conducts her groups right inside our classroom. Our Literacy Coach spends time in our classrooms coaching us. I have students who require instructional aides to be in the classroom regularly. My principal will sometimes just miss being in a classroom and stop by, sit down, and just take it all in for five or ten minutes. We've had teachers from other schools come and observe what our team is doing with technology and blended learning. 

I guess I have just gotten to the point where I am comfortable enough in what I am doing to just be myself. As a result of this shift, I had a great observation and a glowing evaluation. I have finally begun to believe in myself as a teacher and am starting to think of myself as an expert in my field. Okay, well maybe "expert" is a bit of a stretch, but compared to a lot of people who think they know what it means to be a teacher because they spent 13-18 years in a school, I guess I have a leg up. 

However, I think the biggest catalyst of my change in outlook has to do with my principal. She is the kind of leader who we always hope to work with. She listens to her staff, she cares about her students, she values the parents, she is truly here to do what is best for the students. I don't feel like she is judging me. I feel that if I were to have a rough patch, she would be there trying to help me be better. In a time when so much is against us in education, it is so nice to know that I am in a really good place. I teach the greatest kids and work with a fantastic team, under the leadership of a wonderful principal, in an amazing district, led by a dynamic and innovative superintendent. Is it any wonder that my evaluation went so well. 


  1. Having leadership who listens, cares about students, and values parents makes all the difference. Sounds like there are some amazing things happening in your district. It gives me hope to hear that there are such places out there...

  2. As an instructional coach, we have been very cautious about how our time in classrooms looks and feels to teachers. Thanks for giving me a little more insight into what may be going on!