As a teacher in a local government school, I have work review meeting with my direct reporting officer who is usually the head of department.
We would meet at least 2 times each year to look at the various work that I have done in the school and outside school related to developing others and developing myself as an educator.
I do not know about the evaluation system of teachers in other countries so this post is simply to share briefly about how most teachers in our local schools are being evaluated.
Standardised Work Review Template
Regardless of the school that I transfer to locally, there is a standard work review template given by the Ministry of Education.
This work review template would require us to share about our individual class performance, the way we support our students’ well-being, our own professional development, how we work with parents, how we develop other teachers within school and outside schools etc
This template would also require us to evaluate our own strengths and weaknesses.
It also provides an avenue to discuss our aspiration for the future so that the reporting officer can keep in mind to provide the opportunities needed to assist us in realising those aspiration.
It is really like reporting our work done in all possible areas.
We are being graded for our performance each year around October.
During this grading session, principal, vice principals, head of department and all key personnel would gather in a meeting room to rank each teacher against another based on their work done and contribution.
With the room, they would discuss and debate about who deserves to be recognised more than the other.
It is not a fun process as there can be times when both teachers are good but they are forced to have one above the other due to the ranking system.
There is definitely great tension in the room and each reporting officer would need to support the teachers under them whenever possible.
They can also share the negative feedback for those who are not performing up to the basic expectations.
It is really the brutal fact against another brutal fact.
Who is better?
The performance grading really does not determine who is a better classroom teacher since there are other factors like the events that one organises as well as many other contributions beyond classroom.
The teachers of this generation are not evaluated solely on how good we teach but it can be the positive impact we have to the school or beyond school.
It is hard to judge who is a better teacher since different classroom culture may require different types of teachers.
Even the type of teacher for each class is not an one size fits all.
A wonderful teacher who can teach a high progress class well may not be able to teach a low progress class effectively.
A low progress class may benefit greatly from a teacher who knows how to break confusing concept into great simplicity for low progress learners to understand.
It is really hard to judge so teachers should not be focusing too much on whether they are better due to performance grading but how much they have helped the students under them during the academic year.
Regardless of how much I dislike work review, there is a need for it as it forces me to evaluate my own work for the year.
It also keeps a close guard against teachers who may not be doing their jobs properly.
Work review may not be the only factor that determines how good we are but it is a tool to let us see our own blind spots through active discussion with our reporting officer and self-evaluation.
As teachers, our main focus should not be how good we are comparing with other teachers but how much we have helped the students in our classes.
Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.