Optimal Learning Environments - Dr. Alicia Valero-Kerrick
Teacher Evaluation
Posted June 8th 2013

Some would argue that teaching effectiveness is at the core of student educational success. We know that great teachers inspire learning and motivate students to perform optimally. When the controversial educational act No Child Left Behind (NCLB) passed in 2001, one requirement of the law was that students be taught by a highly qualified teacher. Since the passage of NCLB, teacher evaluations have been linked to a single measure, student test scores. Understandably, this has become a contentious topic in the field since teaching and student learning are very complex factors. Some schools and districts use statistics to see if the teacher adds any value to the studentsí education. Others do not agree with value added evaluations of teacher performance, because the statistics used do not produce stable statistics and the numerous factors that impact student learning besides teacher performance. Some schools and districts try to enhance measures of teacher performance evaluation by conducting observations and collecting student feedback in addition to student test scores. According to the United Federation of Teacher (www.uft.org) some states are working toward creating objective rubrics for evaluating teachers in the classroom. UFT argues that these evaluations should help teachers grow and be driven by commonly agreed standards of good practice. Given the current state of educational reform, teachers, parents, administrators and policy members all have a vested interest in promoting student success in the classroom. Each state is working to set standards for teacher evaluations.

What do you believe are the qualities of an effective teacher? How should we move towards an equitable and valid system of teacher evaluation?

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Reply from H Bonino posted on August 23rd 2013
I believe that the qualities of an effective teacher are that they make learning apart of the child's play, that they know the strengths of the child and what can or needs to be more developed, and knows that putting assessment strategies into practice is very difficult, but worth the effort because of how much it increases the child's learning. It is difficult to say that there is one answer to make the system of teacher evaluation more equitable and valid. There are so many things that can happen within the system of education, such as not getting along with a parent or administrator, but also only relying on a test score isn't very accurate either. I think in a perfect world where everyone was unbiased a use of all aspects of teaching would be part of the evaluation. So, I feel that there should be evaluations by administrators, parents, and other teachers. There should also be use of test scores, but maybe rely on the amount of improvement or continued development in order to show the amount the child has achieved over a year as well as taking into account that a child with special needs would have lower test scores that were still acceptable for that child's development.
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Reply from Byanca posted on August 22nd 2013
Carmen Rodriguez - I personally do not believe that the qualities of an effective teacher can be seen through test scores. The qualities of an effective teacher to me include a teacher with patience, dedication, sensitivity, passion and able to multi task. Test scores do not reflect these things. To move to an equitable and valid system of teacher evaluation I believe that we should not put all of our emphasis on test scores but also on student/parent feedback and observation. I believe that we can get a lot more information and a sense of the type of quality a teacher is if we observe them in their classroom environment and how she engages with the children. I believe that teachers should be trained and refreshed about certain information or new ways of teaching that they might not know of. Teachers should know of different ways to interact and teach students that are ELL and are culturally diverse. We are living in a world now that we have students that have different needs than those students of a century or two ago. Teachers should always be up to date I believe. I do not find it to be fair to test the quality of a teacher through test scores.
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Reply from tina posted on August 22nd 2013
I do not believe teachers should be solely evaluated on test scores. If this were the case then not one of the teachers in my twins school would have a job! This school scored so low on the STAR testing that I was considering moving them to a new school. Then I got involved in the school and realized there are so many factors involved in those test scores many which have nothing to do with the teacher. For one the way in which those test are administered is extremely flawed. They do not take into account the way the student learns and what about if English is not their first language? Secondly the home environment plays a huge role in a child's education. You can have the most effective inspiring teacher but still need support from home.
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Reply from kristy posted on August 21st 2013
An effective teacher can mean many different things to different people. There are so many variables that need to be accounted for. An effective teacher to me means being able to account for those variables. Get to know the children that you are teaching, and be able to adapt the curriculum in a way that the children she is teaching can better understand. I believe that if teachers are doing a good job, you will be able to observe it in the classroom. Children all learn differently, and some perform differently. It is not fair to base teachers performance only on test results. I think in order to evaluate a teacher, one must spend time, and see the methods the teacher is using, and whether they are effective or not for learning. Those who evaluate teachers should be expected to spend a lot of time and energy on each teacher. I also think when evaluations are done there should be some sort of interview to involve the teacher in the process.
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Reply from April Fernandez posted on August 20th 2013
I do not believe that qualities of an effective teacher can merely be recited by rote. An effective teacher can be seen. I do not think that statistics are a good way to represent an effective teacher, or an effective student. Numbers only show so much. For example; the single mother in poverty working herself to the bone-three jobs or more- just to feed her hungry children, and the billionaire who cannot think which jet he should pick to become the 100th to his collection. Likewise- the student who has been struggling with algebra all year, with all his strength and vigor- going to after school tutoring, working during his lunch, and staying up late just trying to understand the concept of the formula. When that student goes from a D to a C, it would not be represented well statistically. All the effort of the student and teacher fall into a bar- who can see the effort put into that? The teacher, and the student. Good teachers care. They don't take for granted the responsibility of raising our adults of the future. They are organized in thought, word, deed, and appearance. Good teachers can be trusted. After all- how many parents send their children to school hoping and praying they've left their child in the right hands... to perhaps that teacher that would give their life to protect her students. That cannot be measured, that cannot be put onto a graph or into a number. If we want to hold our teachers accountable we need to take our teacher observations as seriously as a parent takes submitting her child to be taught by that teacher. We would have to be willing to have trained professionals step into the classroom and evaluate the teachers.It is sad to see how many adults were molded in the wrong hands. Thank goodness for those children who fell into the right hands. It would be my hope that there could one day be professionals employed on each school site to simply take a few hours a day to keep the teachers in check- for better or for worse. Our future adults need protected, our children need to fall into the right hands.
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Reply from Jessica DeGroot posted on August 19th 2013
I believe that there are many qualities of an effective teacher. I believe though that in order to see if our children are being taught by effective teachers we shouldn't use statistics. I think that we need to evaluate teachers by observation not through statistics. The best way to see how our teachers are doing is to see them in action and see how their students enjoy the class and see if the students are truly learning and acquiring knowledge. I think that it should be a state by state evaluation too not a nationwide evaluation because each state has certain things that they are learning and it varies by state.
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Reply from Valerie Fine posted on August 19th 2013
To be an effective teacher, a teacher must have a lot of positive qualities like an education and must have training and education to maintain their credentialing . Also they must know haw to develop and promote classroom management, implement instruction and align it with the Common Core Standards. If teaching the preschool years, teachers need to know about child development. Teachers can have a positive or negative effect on their students and must be culturally sensitive and aware to meet the needs of a diverse population. Also, teachers remember the early educators like Vygotsky\'s and his Zone of Proximal Development. With this type of knowledge teacher can build on student\'s prior knowledge. Teachers can be evaluated on their level of education and experience. I think all teachers should have a culture and diversity class. All too often children from other cultures are placed in special need classes because of their poor reading skills which could be devastating to child\'s self esteem, when in reality it is a cultural issue. For example, in some Asian cultures, the children do not talk and have no eye contact with their teacher.
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Reply from Valerie Fine posted on August 19th 2013
To be an effective teacher, a teacher must have a lot of positive qualities like an education and must have training and education to maintain their credentialing . Also they must know haw to develop and promote classroom management, implement instruction and align it with the Common Core Standards. If teaching the preschool years, teachers need to know about child development. Teachers can have a positive or negative effect on their students and must be culturally sensitive and aware to meet the needs of a diverse population. Also, teachers remember the early educators like Vygotsky's and his Zone of Proximal Development. With this type of knowledge teacher can build on student's prior knowledge. Teachers can be evaluated on their level of education and experience. I think all teachers should have a culture and diversity class. All too often children from other cultures are placed in special need classes because of their poor reading skills which could be devastating to child's self esteem, when in reality it is a cultural issue. For example, in some Asian cultures, the children do not talk and have no eye contact with their teacher.
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Reply from michele richardson posted on August 18th 2013
I believe good qualities of an effective teacher are someone who wants to be in the classroom, but someone who is also understanding of the studentís feelings. Communication is also very important with the parents as well as students. Children all learn differently, so teachers need to be flexible in their teaching strategies. Being able to instill the desire to learn in the children helps them to build more of a desire to want to be taught. I donít agree with the NCLB act when it comes to evaluating the teachers. Often the students in the classrooms are ELL and special education students and they donít do well on the tests. I have met a lot of different teachers and majority of them try very hard and are very caring, working with each student. However teachers also need the parents support and often children in the schools which are scoring low come from homes where there is no parent participation. I feel the government should take those things into consideration. All we can do is just continue to love being a teacher and give the children the desire to want to learn.
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Reply from Felicia Zierke posted on August 18th 2013
All teachers have a little different approach when it comes to teaching children. I would say that qualities I would look for in a teacher when researching for my child or as a new employee would include great organization skills in the classroom. Organized lesson plan that is fallowed through, Sets boundaries in a classroom. Able to implement goals effectively in a reasonable amount of time. Cares and loves for children and has a lot of patients and encouragement when helping each child learn through developmental practices and standards set by the Department of ED. Teachers need to be very dedicated to their work. When educating children you need to stay educated yourself and continue researching standards, ideas. Etc. There is always room for improvement and because teachers have to teach new tasks everyday and help the children who needs extra assistance get caught up at the same time. A teacher needs to be approachable, and to make time to help there students at (any age) Although teachers have lots to do and standards are set high (even though payment is Pennies) I think that teacher evaluations are effective. It keeps a teacher up to standards but it can also be difficult. Having an evaluation system that is effective and includes evaluating teacher responsibility shouldn't be measured by only the academics of the classroom but the organization of responsibility. I do believe their should be some sort of evaluation, just to insure the teachers are doing a job without being lazy It is how to make it a fair and realistic that will be difficult.
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Reply from Melonie Williams posted on August 18th 2013
Teacher Evaluation: I am absolutely in favor of teacher evaluations and classroom feedback. However, I am so angry that those evaluations and feedback donít seem to be valued by administrators, and certainly not by the instructors who are being evaluated. Iím speaking specifically of those at the university level. I speak from personal experience Ė having worked with university faculty for 14 years, and having been a student for what feels like 100 years, that students are sincere in the comments they make in evaluations, and that they make them for the betterment of those who follow in the next semesterís course. But, tenured faculty often ignore those evaluations and comments, acting as if they are above being reviewed. I have personally known dozens of faculty members to be so set in their ways that they get angry and send back demeaning comments to those who dare to speak against their teaching methods or classroom habits. (Witness a response I received from a faulty member is this CHDV program!) I believe that teachers at a much younger grade level are more open to standards and evaluations for their classroom level. As someone new to the Child Development forum, I am learning from the beginning what foundations and framework are required of me. I want to know what is expected and how I will be evaluated BEFORE I get too far into my program. I want to be able to keep ahead of the expectations and use them to the best of my classroom abilities. A classmate of mine commented in these postings that teachers used to have more flexibility to be more creative and individualistic in their teachings. Thatís true. But that was when we didnít have nationwide standards imposed on the classrooms. Teachers could do their own thing, and that lead to some teachers being excellent and well-liked by their students and others being the complete opposite. Standards and evaluations will help to move more teachers and classrooms into the excellent category.
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Reply from Helen posted on August 17th 2013
Many young children have been labeled as having learning disabilities when actually they are having second language issues. To make more accurate evaluations, highly qualified teachers are needed, as required by NCLB. Therefore, effective early childhood teachers need to be evaluated not only by test scores, student/parent/ staff feedback, but also by evaluation rubrics with expectations exhibiting their standard knowledge on emergent literacy development, second language acquisition, and developmental appropriate instruction.
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Reply from Mary posted on August 17th 2013
Other than the teacher's professional qualification - appropriate degree, qualities of an effective teacher include a strong sense of who he or she is; has a love of the teaching profession - wants to be in the classroom; understands the feelings of the students; communicates with clarity and understanding to the parents/students; maintains confidentiality, trust and respect; exhibits classroom organization and management; lesson plans are complete and can be followed; monitors student progress and acknowledges every child has potential. Just as teachers use the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) to assess the desired results of the student, so should a similar document be created which measures the desired results/impacts of the teacher's effectiveness in the classroom. Teaching to the "test" and being evaluated on the scores of that test is not an equitable measuring system for teacher evaluation.
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Reply from Mary posted on August 17th 2013
I attended an all-girls Catholic high school 15 miles from my home. Riding the bus was my mode of transportation. On occasion we would be excused early - this sent shudders down my spine. Being let out early meant taking an earlier bus. The early bus would reach the Watts area at the same time the boys from the detention school were getting out. Several of the boys would get on the bus, stand in line from the back of the bus to the front and begin their bullying antics. Racial slurs directed at the \"white\" girls were loudly made. They would make fun of our uniforms. Some would spit on our books, or on us - our hair or our face. When I told my parents about this, I was told to just look out the window. It has been 52 years since I graduated from high school. I will never forget those bullying experiences and the language that accompanied them. Unfortunately, these experiences and others (made fun of because of height)shape one\'s beliefs. I do believe teachers have a responsibility to all children, especially to the children in their charge. Having open classroom discussions about bullying is a vehicle to promote awareness of this hateful activity. Bullying hurts.
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Reply from Ginger Daniel posted on August 15th 2013
There are many qualities that make a teacher effective but first and foremost teachers need to have a passion for what they are doing and not just doing it to have a job. They need to be motivated, experienced and well educated in child development or a related subject not just any subject with a teaching credential. Effective teachers put forth effort in continuing to educate themselves on the most current studies being done on related topics to their field. Effective teachers truly love and care for our future generations and try their best to educate them with the time and resources given to them. You have to be flexible and creative to be an effective teacher as well. It is very hard to have an equitable and valid way to evaluate teachers due to bias and other things that may make the evaluation invalid or inaccurate. There would need to be a variety of evaluations used to evaluate a teacher. For example you would need teachers to evaluate themselves, co-teachers or assistants to evaluate teachers, parents to evaluate teachers, if students are old enough they can also evaluate teachers, and other school district employees to evaluate teachers. With the variety of people evaluating teachers there would also need to be a variety of evaluations done by these varying parties. Then all the evaluations would need to be put together and then given an overall evaluation with the inclusion of all evaluations completed.
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Reply from Suzie posted on August 14th 2013
Teaching should not be just a ďjobĒ but a lifestyle choice. Effective teachers are teachers who teach from the heart. Someone who simply believe they can make a difference in a childís life. Not a person who is there to collect a check. Therefore teacher evaluations should not be link to a single measure such as how the NCLB is linking it to, student test scores. I am sure the NCLB has good intentions when coming up with teacher evaluations but then again, who is this really about? Is it really about our children or politics and money? Yes, I understand that we need to set a higher standard for learning and we need our children to produce higher test scores but have we really thought about them (our children)? Keep in mind that every child learns at a different rate. I believe some effective qualities of a teacher should be 1.) Passion-passionate teachers are dedicated to their teaching and believe their students can be successful. They find creative ways to make sure their students are absorbing the information being taught. They understand their studentís individual abilities and work around it to give the student the most productive learning experience. 2.) Positive attitude-effective teachers never stop learning and are always learning and adapting. Teaching is not an easy job but they have positive outlook at every obstacle. Instead of viewing it as a roadblock they take it as a small bump in the road and there is always a way to make it better. Lastly but not least, an effective teacher must have patience. Working with students, who comes from environments that may not resemble ours, is challenging. We do not know what some of these children go through in their lives. Some children come to school as a breathing ground or safe haven, depending on what kind of community we are in. Teachers with patience will be able to tolerate and reteach materials over and over if have to. As for equitable and valid system of teacher evaluation, I still believe that will remain a political issue. Until we know what we want for our children, we must follow what the source of funds want to see. Obviously, they believed since they have invested all these money, they need to see results and it does not matter how it is done. It is only creating less passionate teachers but more drilling. Pretty soon, it will be more like military training.
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Reply from sabrina bell posted on August 13th 2013
An effective teacher is someone who has an education, experience, and personal skills in teaching children. To be a qualified teacher he/she should be equipped with materials from the educational system to assist him/her with the expected requirements that will meet the needs of individual children academically so that no child will get left behind in the education system. Trainings should be provided for the teachers at least once a month in order for the teacher to retain the methods on what is to be taught and what he/she is teaching is in reference to the evaluated checklist. These trainings will equip the teacher with the proper process in teaching that is recommended to meet the objectives related to the educational reform policies.
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Reply from GULALAI SHETAB posted on August 13th 2013
Teachers play an essential role in ONESí life. An effective teacher is the one who honors his or her title and understand his/her valuable responsibility. Teachers have two roles: number one is instructor and trainer of the mind and a transmitter of knowledge. Second, they are trainer of the souls and personalities, mentor, and role model. If they maintain their roles responsibly, they will qualify as an effective teacher. Teachers should be evaluated based on variety of teaching and learning methodologies that can prevent boredom and passive learning among students. They should be evaluated by Studentsí achievement, work ethics, the ability to work with others, relationships with parents from different cultures.
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Reply from Jeannie Pytel posted on August 13th 2013
Since education standards for effective and quality teaching have changed significantly over the past twelve years we are seeing teachers either embrace the change or resist the change. However as our classrooms see more diverse learners, teachers need to embrace changes in their classroom to become more effective to the classroom as a whole. This is a challenging task to educators as the classroom size has increased over the years, especially in secondary schools. Differentiating lesson plans to accommodate the needs of all students is a skill that many seasoned teachers have not had to apply to their classrooms in the past. Today’s effective teacher has learned to modify and differentiate lessons to bridge the gap among their students. Recent college graduates who move forward to become teachers have learned that there is not a one size fits all curriculum for the average classroom as a whole. We must modify our standard curriculum to reach the levels of learning our students are at, while scaffolding their current knowledge into higher levels of learning. This is not an easy task but non the less it is a critical task. A typical classroom today in California will see students from every socio economic background, cultural background, native language background, as well as students who require special service’s in the classroom to meet their developmental needs. To be an effective teacher today you must understand and accept the challenge of the increasing changes to the classroom. It is not enough to accept a job and take home the check at the end of the month. A teacher who lacks the passion to inspire the optimal learning of their students must consider the reality of what it is they truly wish to accomplish. There should be a check and balance of teachers working in the classrooms today and the best way to gauge teacher performance is from student classroom assessment scores given at the beginning of the school year measured to the end of the school year. In addition each school site principal should monitor their teacher’s performance and assess the performance on a regular schedule throughout one school year verses one assessment in one school year.
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Reply from Ashley Larsen posted on August 13th 2013
I think that the most important quaility in a teacher has to be her flexibility to adjust and adapt to each of her students needs. Any given teacher may need a different set of qualities to be effective depending on where she is teaching, what grade, who the parents are, who the children are, who her fellow staff is, and so much more. The outside factors are going to help her determine what she needs to bring to the table to make her students most successful. For example, a teacher in a high SES school may not have to worry if her student have eaten breakfast that morning and her students may be ready to to their hardest work first thing in the moring. Conversely, a teacher who works with students from a low SES may need to wait until after children have received their lunches (many on the free hot lunch program) to do her most focused work in the classroom. The most effective teachers will get to know her students on a personal level in order to better serve each individual student as well. She is knowledgable in many different learning styles and approaches so that if one thing is not working she has many back up plans in place. I think the best way to evaluate teachers effectiveness is definately not to go off her students test scores but to observe her in the classroom with her students. Poll the students and parents and see what they say of the teacher. See where her students were performing before coming into her class and where they are at now. Are their attitudes about school improving? Are they able to enjoy subjects that used to frighten them? Does she reach out to the students that need extra help and involve parents in order to bring the child up to grade level? I know this sounds like a tedious way to evaluate all the teachers everywhere but I believe it is a far better way than what is currently in place. In addition, at my daughter's charter school they do not offer tenure. All teachers get a year to year contract and they must meet performance measures to ensure their employment for the following year. At first I was a little concerned about this but after 6 years at this school we have the most amazing teachers and I see them all strive to be the best they can be. There is incentive for them to do well (they get to keep an amazing job at an amazing school).
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Reply from Hua Lor posted on August 12th 2013
I believed that teachers who express these traits are effective teacher. These quality traits are: ē An effective teacher must posses the passion to teach. Teachers must love to teach and should possess patience to teach children because teaching is not an easy job. If teachers do not have the passion to teach, their teaching would be ineffective in their teaching. Teachers must channel the positive energy within them onto their classroom. When there is peace and harmony, the classroom is a perfect place to explore and learn new things. ē An effective teacher must be able to think out side the box. Teachers are the door that opens up to new learning experience. It is what teachers bring into the classroom that makes children want to learn. If the teacher is teaching straight from the book and is boring. The classroom will more than likely to have behavior issue. Teacher who are created and able to craft their teaching to meet the needs of the student are effective teachers. ē An effective teacher can relate to its students. One teacher is up against thirty students. If that teacher can not relate to each individual child and meet the need of the child, that teacher would not be able to offer the learning experience that the child deserves. Not only do teachers take each individual child into account, they must be able to assess the whole community they work in as well. Such as social economic status, cultural and racial. Teachers must do their best to meet these criteria for them to be an effective teacher. We should move up to a better evaluation system for teachers because teachers and schools need to be accountable for. A good evaluation system should reflect the complexity of teaching, learning and focus on teaching practices that best support student learning rather than a census. Not only does the teacher influence studentís learning, there are many factors that can impact student learning as well. These include resource such as enrichment after school programs, climate environment, and safety of the school. What is best for students is providing them with opportunities to learning that are tied to high standards, rigorous curricula, and effective teaching strategies, all of these factors need to be considered in developing a useful and fair teacher evaluation system.
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Reply from Alyssa Miller posted on August 11th 2013
There are many qualities a teacher needs to be an effective teacher, but I think the two most import qualities a teacher needs are having the want to inspire and pass on their knowledge to others and continually striving to be better. When a teacher is passionate about their job they are more willing to get to know their students on a personal level and adjust their teaching styles to ensure each student is absorbing the material. The teacher will also go out of their way to take classes to learn new/different teaching styles, or how to use new technology. Unfortunately, after the passing of NCLB the effective teachers are becoming less passionate on bettering themselves or their students and instead are worrying about how they will cram all of the material they know students will be tested on during the state testing periods so their students would get better test score and they would receive higher scores on their teacher evaluations. I personally experienced this when I was in high school; I had some teachers that were very focused on cramming in the state testing material and would not expand on lessons because there were some many things to cover before we were tested. I do not think a teacherís evaluation should be based on test scores because there are so many variables that can affect those results- a teacher may be great at their job but could have students that get test anxiety and do poorly on the test. Teachers should be evaluated using multiple sources-observations, student/parent reviews, and even peer reviews from other teachers. By using different sources you are able to get a broader view of the teachers teaching capabilities.
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Reply from Kimberly Burt posted on August 11th 2013
An effective teacher is able to be a part of the environment in which they teach. They get to know their students abilities whether they are their strong or weak. When they have difficulty they find a way to bring learning that material easy. They are patient and kind. An effective teacher is always prepared and has backup when need be. An effective teacher will take those evaluations and be able to change aspects in their teaching that need to be extended or fixed. The evaluation should be something that is given multiple times in the year. I feel that it should be given soon after the semester begins, because if the teacher is not on track or the students feel lost in the beginning they will for the whole duration of the class, this would give the teacher the opportunity to change early on so that the evaluation at the end may not be so bad. I believe that if they do not know that they are making a mistake they can never fix it. As far as moving towards an equitable and valid system of teacher evaluations its just trial and error to come up with the best way.
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Reply from Sheila Kennedy posted on August 9th 2013
An effective teacher realizes that she is the most important part of the classroom environment, believes that her students will succeed, and remains flexible in teaching strategies to meet the needs of all children - creating an optimal learning environment. An effective teacher realizes that teacher evaluations points out the teacher's strengths as well as her areas that needs improvement. This evaluation should be seen as a tool to create an optimal classroom environment. An equitable and valid system of teacher evaluation should be more than just a snap shot; perhaps the evaluation should last a couple of days in order to see a more complete teaching process. The teaching evaluation should consider the various teaching styles. For example, the constructivist teacher creates an environment that allows children opportunities to create their own learning experiences. The NCLB act does not allow room for this kind of creativity.
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Reply from Sheila Kennedy posted on August 9th 2013
An effective teacher realizes that she is the most important part of the classroom environment, who sets the stage for an optimal learning environment, and has high expectations for her students. An effective teacher also realizes that teacher evaluations points out the teacher's strengths as well as areas of improvements for an optimal learning environment. An equitable and valid system to a teacher evaluation should be more than just a one day shot. The evaluation should happen over a period of time - perhaps a few days in order to see a more complete process. The evaluation tool should consider the various teaching styles and approaches.
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Reply from Kirsten P posted on August 4th 2013
I think that an effective teacher has their education and has a vast knowledge of not only academics but also of child development. I think it's important for teachers to know where children came from developmentally so they can know if a certain behavior is typical or not. I also think that effective teachers build relationships with their students and get to know each child on a personal level. I think this is especially important in the younger years. Teachers need to connect with their students and have a passion for the subject and age group they are teaching. I think effective teachers can multi task and have a positive outlook on education and the children they teach. Teacher evaluations are a tricky thing because every teacher is so unique. There are so many different teaching styles. I think the only fair evaluation would rate teachers on a wide range of abilities, that way every style could be accounted for. Also, teachers would need to be observed for an extended period of time so the evaluators could get a accurate picture of the teacher and the classroom.
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Reply from suki posted on August 3rd 2013
Each teacher has their own unique style of teaching. Some qualities of an effective teacher include organization of classroom, able to implement the learning goals effectively to her students. Shows respect and believes in each student. Set boundaries and classroom rules and helps each individual student to achieve learning standards set by the Department of Education and officials. Teachers work really hard to teach all set standards that they are suppose to throughout year, every year. Because teachers have to teach a new task to students each day, they do not get time to sit and help individual child to provide some extra help, when needed. Sometimes teachers can only offer extra help to their students before school or after school, because they do not have enough time during their class time to help out individual child. The higher education the teacher have, the better he/she is able to assist students in the classroom. Teacher evaluations are effective.
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Reply from Melissa Steenburgen posted on August 3rd 2013
Effective teachers are those who are personally invested in imparting knowledge to their students. This can be seen in their ability to creatively problem solve to reach students that are struggling or having challenges academically or personally. Teachers are most effective when they can reach all of the students in their classrooms. This can be monitored by evaluating each students progress on all levels, academic, physical, social, and emotional. Test scores alone cannot dictate the effectiveness of a teacher. If a student has struggled academically his entire life and one teacher finds the root cause and helps alleviate it, test scores may not reveal the true benefit immediately. By looking at education holistically and gauging a child's progress by a multi-disciplinary form of assessment we can get a better grasp of how truly effective a teacher is.
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Reply from Rosita Villarreal posted on August 3rd 2013
I am a student and have not had the expierence of teacher, but I do believe that everyone in a teacher position needs to be accountable. Teachers need to be caring, consistant and credable for whom they are teaching. If we do not know how hte theacher is preforming, how are we to know that the students are progressing. I further believe that teachers need to keep abreast of what needs to be taught and how to teach. It is because of our divers communities that teachers need to be educated as well.
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Reply from Kathleen McGagin posted on July 26th 2013
I personally don't believe that the NCLB act is a fair process for evaluating teachers. I understand why it was implemented, but I think it has created a different climate in the classrooms. I have friends who have been grade school teachers for 20+ years, and they claim that the NCLB has changed how they teach. Some of the things they have told me are that they are no longer able to be creative or innovative, and that there is no longer time for anything other than the core standards. This leaves the teacher with little time for other subjects such as art, music and social skill awareness activities. I think that teachers should be evaluated on a case-by-case system, rather than a whole-system approach. Every year the demographics change in schools, and the evaluation process needs to take into consideration exactly who the teachers are teaching. They cannot expect cookie-cutter outcomes (100% proficiency expectations) for classes that may have a large representation of ELL's and special education students. Effective teachers are able to instill in their students a desire for excellence. My two favorite teachers were my 2nd grade teacher and my 10th grade psychology teacher. What I remember the most is that they were able to motivate me to do my absolute best. They made it interesting and they both made me feel valued.
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Reply from Denise Bailey posted on June 8th 2013
If I am continuously teaching a student something that he/she did not know before, than is that not teaching effectively; it is only when I stop teaching my students and not expect them to do their best that makes my teaching ineffective. I am 100% in favor of raising the bar on teachers teaching; however, while some students thrive on learning and keep moving forward, there are other children, like those who might have symptoms of fetal-alcohol-syndrom that might need a new concept revisited, repractice, or retaught and maybe from different angles until they get it and it clicks for them. As a teacher, I need to understand the NEEDS of each one of my students as an INDIVIDUAL and to show them how they can learn best. For example, if I am asking a 4th grader to write a letter and that student\\\'s writing skills lack grammatical structure than I should continue to enforce good writing skills until he/she is proficient for the 4th grade writing excellence. Another thing that the government needs to realize is that not every child will reach the 100 mark at each grade level. I believe one of the biggest problems that our government of education fails to examine is the LACK of help/support at home. Children who have parents that insist on consistent homework times and who hold their child accountable have students who learn to have disciplined lives. I strongly suggest that principals need to establish a time before school starts for teachers to meet with every set of parents before their child can begin school. Rules for students to be successful must be addressed for the home as well as at school. We might offer public service for education, but we can expect private school qualifications too.
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Reply from Kimberly Gordon Biddle posted on June 10th 2013
Hello Denise, I want to thank you for your sincere, thoughtful, and heartfelt posting to this blog. Your experience and insight are much appreciated! Kimberly Biddle
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Reply from Denise Bailey posted on June 14th 2013
Thank you Professor Biddle.
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