Teachers often speak very poorly of administrator observations for a variety of reasons.
And by speak poorly I mean they loathe them, usually with a few expletives.
As teachers we know feedback is valuable, but often times we find the observation process either as “a waste of time” or worse, demoralizing.
I recently read about how the design company Ideo came into the Hogan Lovells Law Firm and re-designed their annual review for lawyers.
Here’s how the annual review worked after the re-design:
Within every four-month period, associates are supposed to actively solicit feedback from three different people they’ve worked with, including partners, assistants, and peers. Each of these feedback sessions is supposed to take the form of a 10-minute-long conversation, using a card with guided questions to keep the dialogue focused on what the person can do to improve. Once the associate has had all three conversations, he or she has another with a peer to talk through the feedback–almost like you’d do with a friend–help them process it, and think about how to incorporate it into their lives. (Article)
Naturally I couldn’t help but wonder what this might look like in a school.
I imagine it would involve observations still, probably by fellow teachers (or admin if the teacher so chooses). I suppose this brings the first problem – Would teachers be willing to give up their time to do this? Maybe for a more equitable and valuable evaluation, perhaps, but I could see this needing to be preceded by a lot of “selling” to the teachers.
But let’s say we get past that. The part I am really interested in is What would the guided questions on the card say?
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.