Excellence in Teaching is a new pilot program aimed at discovering why some schools are on probation while their teachers continue to score “excellent” for Chicago Public Schools.
Instead of a vague checklist that principals use to rate teacher effectiveness, the new program aims to define good and bad teaching, gives principals and teachers a common language to discuss frankly how to make improvements, and requires evidence that teachers meet certain criteria.
Defining the Good
With so many different learning styles, and every student an individual learner, teachers need not only communicate an idea, but make certain that all students understand. A teacher can’t just have something present-and-accounted-for…there needs to be quality. So now, when evaluating teachers, how is there only a present-and-accounted-for/not, option? If education isn’t a clear cut path, how are teachers being evaluated only on whether or not they’re on some kind of path?
That’s what this program is exploring–how do we establish a feasible system of evaluating our educators without the multiple-choice options? How do we create a feasible system of deep-discussion, accounting for different teaching styles as well as different learning styles?
And yet I can’t help but worry about the possible future of my teacherhood–and the stress of evaluations! Where does intention and reality meet?