As you head into the 2012-13 school year you are likely to be thinking about your school improvement and personal goals. These two sets of goals should be closely aligned. How can you ensure that school improvement goals are met and what leadership do you need to provide to facilitate this work? Ideally, your District's administrator evaluation tool allows you to be assessed based on your progress and achievement of your goals.
The most important person in your evaluation process is YOU. You need to know exactly what you will be held accountable for and plan accordingly to meet the expectations. Questions to ask:
- How many elements are included in your evaluation?
- Is it a laundry list of items?
- If so, how is each area going to be measured and what data/artifacts can you collect during the year to demonstrate your achievement and progress in each specified area?
This has to become your new mindset - collecting data to show what you are doing in each area may be a critical component to earning an "effective" or better rating. This being said - make sure you are clear on what will be measured in each area of your evaluation and don't leave it to chance.
Does your evaluation tool allow for goal setting? If not, consider requesting that goals become part of the process. This will allow your supervisor to know what you are specifically working toward and it will allow you to collect data to support your own progress. If goal setting is new to you - consider following the SMART goal formula. Goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. A pre-meeting with your supervisor is also essential to your success. Your supervisor needs to know and understand your goals so that they may help to support you throughout the year. If a pre-meeting has not been part of your evaluation process in the past, don't sit back - request the meeting. Use this opportunity to make sure each element on the evaluation is clarified and to ask for support on your goals. There are a number of supports you may need: financial for specific materials and/or professional development, expertise in the form of best practice articles and research based practices and lastly active participation and involvement on the part of your supervisor.
How is student achievement going to impact your evaluation? The percentage varies around the State, but the percentage should be consistent for all educators in a district. If a teacher's evaluation is 20 percent based on student achievement - the administrators evaluation should also be 20 percent based on student achievement. Make sure you know what measurement(s) will be used to assess overall student achievement in your building. Once this is determined, review the data carefully to find areas of strength and weakness. How can you build on the areas of success and how can you support the staff to improve the areas of weakness? Don't leave improvement to chance. If you have specific strategies you will be implementing, make sure that there are formative assessments throughout the year...don't wait for the MEAP or MME to see if students have made progress. That may be too late.
Once your goals are set and the evaluation tool has become clear, make a list of ways that you will be able to demonstrate progress and achievement in each area. Next, go to your calendar and set 3-4 check points. Simply block out an hour or two quarterly on your calendar to assess your progress toward your goals and to literally build a portfolio of artifacts. Begin to build a portfolio: Keep agendas from workshops you've attended for your development and those that you've created for your staff, include copies of articles and activities from PD, department meetings and school improvement team meetings. Document everything you are doing and go back to the evaluation tool/goals to make sure that you will hit the mark in each area.
Does this seem like a lot of work? It should, because it is! However, the upside is: You will have a clear game plan for the year, your supervisor will know what you are trying to achieve and you will build in time to stay focused on attaining your goals.
If you need assistance with this process and/or help looking at your data to determine your goals, join us at MASSP for a one-day workshop "Planning PD/Staff Meetings for the Year" on September 20. You will leave this session with a road map for your personal and school improvement goals, along with topics and plans for your staff PD and staff meetings. Click here for more information and to sign-up for the workshop. I look forward to working with you and to helping you chart a course for success for the 2012-13 school year!