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Teacher Evaluation, Transformed: Frequent Observations Are Key

When North Arvada Middle School overhauled its teacher evaluations three years ago, educator Barbara Aswege could not have been more opposed.

Now, “I’m constantly begging [observers] to come in my room,” Aswege said. The school’s principal and a team of trained former teachers observe individual teachers at the school as many as 20 times in a semester. After teachers get observed, they follow up with conversations with coaches and master teachers on how to respond to the criticism they receive.

The school also created more time for teachers to work together, to plan ahead for instruction and reflect on their teaching.

In order to improve, teachers need an environment where they can try new things and see if they succeed or fail — and bouncing ideas of their peers is big part of that.

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