By David Cicarella, NHFT President
As you read this article, TEVAL mid-year conferences are either underway or have been completed. The mid-year conference is a crucial checkpoint in the TEVAL process. At this time, two important items are addressed.
Potential Adjustment of Student Learning Objectives (SLO)
SLO’s are reviewed and the teacher and their Instructional Manager (IM) determine if an adjustment to the SLO(s) is warranted. An example is the scenario whereby a teacher has a significant number of students that have been chronically absent from September through February. This will impact a teacher’s ability to meet the SLO and an adjustment would be in order.
Teachers Self Rating for Classroom Practices
At this mid-year conference, the teacher will complete the “self-rating for classroom practices” and the IM will do the same. The teacher and IM discuss the ratings looking for items of instructional practice where there is agreement and disagreement. The purpose is to promote a professional dialogue to ensure supports are provided for areas where there is agreement that the teacher would benefit from these supports. It is equally important to discuss items of disagreement. For example, a teacher rates themselves STRONG on an item while the IM rating is DEVELOPING. A respectful dialogue needs to occur in February, not in June. Our colleagues that co-authored TEVAL to ensure important discussions purposely designed the self-assessment component so potential adjustments and supports are put in place mid-year, which allows for subsequent improvement in instructional practice.
The self-assessment ratings are unofficial and have no bearing on the final TEVAL rating. Too often I receive calls whereby a teacher conveys that they were “rated developing” at this mid-year conference. NO teacher receives any ratings mid-year. Summative ratings occur only at the end of the school year. There is no such thing as a “mid-year rating”. The mid-year conference is an informal assessment of instructional practice with the sole purposes of celebrating successes and identifying areas in need of improvement and implementing support.
As we continue to modify TEVAL and tweak it for improvement, the emphasis is shifting to more “fact-based” evidence. Teachers should be hearing “I rated you strong on this indicator because of this evidence”. Instructional Managers have been undergoing collegial calibrations in our ongoing attempt to strengthen the evaluation process and use objective, fact-based data when conducting observations and the subsequent evaluations.
The Major Components of TEVAL