Faculty Evaluation at Kinkaid
Student success is the ultimate goal of everything teachers do. Hence, faculty evaluation at Kinkaid is tied to performance and professional growth that support student learning. The goals of faculty evaluation include the following:
- encourage ongoing faculty professional growth;
- provide occasion for teachers’ reflection on their work;
- promote and reward excellence in both teaching and collegiality;
- support the mission, values, and goals of the school;
- identify the teacher’s strengths as well as areas for growth;
- provide specific suggestions and help for improvement;
- assure objectivity and fairness in assessing faculty assignments, and in setting compensation;
- ensure a straightforward process that will not claim excessive amounts of faculty and administrative time, effort, or emotion.
Kinkaid faculty are evaluated formally on a three-year rotation (approximately one-third of the faculty per year). The process begins in March and is completed no later than May of the following academic year. Evaluation and professional growth at the school are tied to teachers’ goals (see below), which they set in concert with their evaluator (principal, department head, or dean of faculty). An on-line system allows teachers undergoing evaluation to keep a running log of progress and completion, and principals to see and respond to teachers’ logs.
"Rookie" teachers are observed regularly by the principal, department head, and dean of faculty and meet informally on a regular basis with the observer. To the extent that formal goals are set, the principal determines the goals, and it is assumed these will focus on basics such as classroom management. They undergo formal evaluation in their second year at the school. Teachers who are new to Kinkaid, but have prior teaching experience, are observed as appropriate. They also undergo formal evaluation in their second year at the school.
A standing faculty Committee on Faculty Professional Growth and Evaluation, composed of three teachers from each division and selected by the Headmaster, monitors the evaluation system and recommends to the Headmaster necessary changes.
Using the Evaluation On-Line System
The goal setting process involves (1) assessment of individual strengths, interests, and areas for growth; (2) the setting of two or three goals; (3) outlining a specific action plan, or steps for achieving the goals; and (4) for each goal, identifying specific criteria for measuring success. Teachers will enter this information in the on-line record, which is accessible to the evaluator, the teacher, the dean of faculty, and anyone else they agree should see it.
1. The first step in the goal setting process is a discussion of the Benchmarks of Excellence in Teaching at Kinkaid (http://www.kinkaid.org/page.cfm?p=317). Prior to the first meeting, the teacher, using a quantitative rating, will do a self-evaluation for each of the benchmarks. The evaluator also will assess the teacher in the same categories. From this assessment and input from other sources, especially the evaluator, the teacher and evaluator generate the teacher’s goals.
Goals should be specific, clear, and related, directly or indirectly, to student achievement. The goals may be short term ones that are attainable in a year’s time or long term goals that can be assessed at the end of the evaluation period and carried over into the following year. Teachers also may set goals that relate to parent/teacher relations or involvement in student life outside the classroom. Goals should be ambitious, but realistic. One of the goals must be related to the teacher's use of technology in the classroom, and in the evaluation year the teacher must do the equivalent of one day (approximately 6 hours) of technology training, related to the technology goal or not.
2. After the goals are approved, the teacher draws up an action plan for achieving each goal. The action plan consists of a list of steps towards the completion of each goal. Teachers may include workshops, courses, readings, consultation with experts (including colleagues), peer feedback, observation of other teachers, self-reflection, and other specific tasks.
3. Teachers must clearly identify specific ways in which they will know the goals have been met—the criteria for success. Some examples of this are improved test scores, student evaluations, peer feedback, and self-reflection.
4. Record of Progress. For the teacher, this section is primarily a running record of progress and a form of communication with the evaluator. While it need not be a model of literary style, it should show evidence of reflection and be more than mere notes. Because it is not a diary, teachers should keep a separate file of their own for recording less significant details of progress. Then, from time to time, after reflection, the teacher will transfer to this section a summary of progress, including reflection on successes and failures. The evaluator will track the teacher’s progress and compliance with deadlines and, in the appropriate box, ask questions and make suggestions and observations. The evaluator will not necessarily comment on every teacher entry, and in most cases, when the evaluator does make entries, they will be brief. In any case, the on-line file should not be the only means of communication between the teacher and the evaluator; there also will be formal and informal conversations along the way.
5. End-of-Process Summary. Both teacher and evaluator are expected to make summary statements here. For the teacher this is a self-evaluation, a summary of progress, successes, and disappointments, perhaps indicating future plans or aspirations to complete, expand, or go beyond what has been accomplished here. The evaluator also should give an assessment of the teacher’s work, suggesting where the teacher should go from here. Along with the goals, action plans, and list of criteria for success, these summaries will become part of the teacher’s permanent file. It is assumed that these will form the basis of a final, summative conversation.
The following are key dates in the process:
March—Teachers notified of their evaluation (and evaluator) in the coming year. Teacher and evaluator use “Benchmarks of Excellence” to do a quantitative evaluation of the teacher. Teacher begins to formulate goals.
March through September—Teacher meets with evaluator to set goals, action plan, and criteria for success (must be completed by September 15). Goals, action plan, and criteria for success approved by evaluator. Teacher uses summer for professional development related to goals.
October 1—Deadline for entering goals, action plan, and criteria for success entered in on-line system.
April 1—Goals completed and all data entered in on-line system.
April 15—Teacher’s self-evaluation completed.
May 1—Deadline for final meeting between teacher and evaluator to discuss teacher’s self-evaluation and evaluator’s summary of process. Process is complete when these are entered into the on-line system and, signed by teacher and evaluator, placed in teacher’s personnel file.