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It is important to understand how evaluation of teachers is conducted in an elementary school. For this purpose, I scheduled an appointment with Ms. Magen, an elementary school principal. When I came into the principal office at 8:30 on Wednesday she welcomed me, and I started to ask her about the school, teachers and students. She was very helpful and respectful, so I became aware of the purpose of summative and formative evaluation of teachers as well as advantages and disadvantages of such duel responsibility in the elementary school.
One of the main tasks for me was to learn about the two functions: summative and formative evaluation of the school teachers. At the beginning of our conversation, Ms. Magen explained the purpose of the both types of evaluation. According to the principal’s ideas, summative means that the teacher evaluates students by testing them at the end of a unit, and the principal evaluates the teachers at the end of the school year. After that I wondered how to assess the teachers in the elementary school. Ms. Magen clarified observation in the class, walking through and monitoring the students’ performance or growth. I think these steps give the principal an overall rating. As for formative evaluation, the school administrator focused on the type of assessment to guide instruction which indicates what you need to do to help the teachers.
Another question I asked Ms. Magen was if she attempted to separate the two functions of evaluation. From her viewpoint, formative and summative assessments are necessarily linked to provide teachers with feedback about their planning of instruction, focus on learning, instructional methods, communication with students and staff members, and evaluation methods. She believes that the formative assessments, comprising walk-throughs, classroom observations, professional conversations, are necessary for the principal to assist the teachers to improve their instruction of students. With that purpose, the summative assessment, which is the Final Summative Rating meeting/conference, accurately depicts the teachers’ overall performance.
The two functions indicate dual responsibility, but they posit both advantages and disadvantages. As regards the advantages, Ms. Magen, as the instructional leader in the building, needs to provide the best possible instruction so that each teacher is supported to perform to the best of his or her ability. Through formative assessment she can determine the level of support necessary for each teacher to perform optimally. Secondly, Ms. Magen can ascertain what professional development may be needed so that a teacher provides instruction using the best practice approach. Lastly, the principal is able to invest in each teacher personally by having conversations that allow gaining insight into their strengths or weaknesses and preferences. Later, she uses this information to determine specific student placements, committee memberships as well as grade level and/or subject teaching placements. When the teacher’s instructional needs are met and he or she is able to provide the best practice instruction, student achievement is increased proportionately, making the time and effort given completely worth it.
Despite the evident advantages of combining the two functions of evaluation, there are some disadvantages. Specifically, it takes a tremendous amount of time during the school year to meet each teacher multiple times throughout the year, observe classrooms repeatedly and satisfy the needs of each teacher. It is easy to find on average 10 hours for each teacher per school year for these purposes. Moreover, there is an insistent demand of professional development, which requires using the principal’s budget. In turn this limits the amount of money allocated for other necessary resources in the elementary school.
Finally, I was very happy to meet Ms. Magen and gain some of her administrative experience. Through our conversation I observed that the principal was talking about the elementary school community as a family. In addition, she tried to provide a great service to the students to make them be ready to learn, and also to the teachers to make them be ready to teach.
Example Of Principal Interview Report
Type of paper: Report
Topic: Students, School, Principal, Teacher, Evaluation, Elementary School, Instruction, Conversation
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