In April I posted a piece on CORElaborate about what administrators wish teachers knew about the Teacher Principal Evaluation Project. I interviewed several administrators who candidly discussed the ways they felt TPEP is a helpful tool to help teachers grow, and some of the reservations they felt about evaluating teachers with TPEP. It seemed only fair to go beyond my own thoughts and experiences to ask teachers about their experiences with TPEP.
So I scrounged a piece of notebook paper, attached it to a clipboard, and scrawled this question at the top: What do you wish administrators knew about the impact TPEP has on teachers?
Here’s a summary of what I learned from talking to teachers who are new, mid-career, or near retirement, who are on comprehensive or focused evaluation.
They want you to know that they deeply, fervently want to become better teachers.
That’s it. That’s what I heard over and over. Everything else I heard from teachers supported this main idea. They know there are ways they can improve and can serve kids better. They want you to help them get there. To that end, here are their stars, wishes, and questions.
- Teachers want to grow and they want to be observed. The TPEP is a vehicle to make that happen.
- Since the TPEP offers a continuum of evidence, it is a tool that can differentiate depending on the experience and skills of the teacher.
- It’s good to know what sort of evidence shows clearly what teachers are doing and students are learning.
- The evidence asked for in TPEP is appropriate and manageable.
- We want to know and act on student growth data, but not having it attached to our evaluation removes stress.
- At the end of this year’s process, please help me to pick my goals for next year.
- Help me find the resources to improve in the areas I need to improve. I want to start planning this over the summer.
- Don’t just tell me what I’m doing well.
- Can the TPEP help us set realistic goals?
- Is it better to set high goals and fall short, or to set lower goals and meet them though it feels more like hoop-jumping?
- Does my evaluator know enough about my content area to give me more than basic feedback?
- The people who really know who I am as a teacher and how to push me to get better are my content area peers. How can I take that next step to observe and be observed by my colleagues and to give and receive and give feedback?
- We know it is hard when we are in the first years of something new, but how can the TPEP experience be standardized across the building?
- What does it mean for our administrators to be teacher leaders?
The administrators I interviews in April were cautiously positive about TPEP. Teachers are, too. Understanding more about TPEP from each other’s points of view can help teachers and administrators move beyond caution to effectively helping us become better teachers. Because that’s what we really want.
Latest posts by Chris Gustafson (see all)
- What Do Teachers Wish Administrators Knew About TPEP? - June 11, 2016
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- TPEP – The Administrator’s Point of View - April 15, 2016