There are formal processes in our jobs as school leaders that require a midyear evaluation or performance review for ourselves and for our teachers. These can be used to improve instruction in our schools and help our students in their path to success. As we use the instruments we’ve been given to assess our progress and to assess the progress of those we supervise, the most effective school leaders don’t just go throw the motions; they instead use this opportunity to reflect, evaluate the progress that’s been made, and set the course for the work to come.
In our conversations with teachers, we can, in concert with the evaluation instrument, stimulate progress through good reflection. Here are three questions you could explore at midyear that should stimulate great conversation with your teachers, and help you get to the core of the work:
- What evidence do you have to demonstrate the progress your students have made to date? If we’ve made progress, we should have data to support it. If our focus is on student achievement, then we are measuring their progress and can show it at midyear.
- Would you please tell me the story about a student in whose life you have made a difference? As we meet not only academic needs, some measures of progress are best shared as narratives. We want to help our students make academic progress. We also want to make a difference.
- With what student have you missed the mark so far this year? What is your strategy for the remainder of the year? As we look ahead to the remainder of the year, who is it in our classroom that we didn’t reach? Can we set a course for success for this student? Are we willing to move forward with them to do so?
These aren’t intended to be the only questions that would be discussion-worthy, but they are three that might lead to some further reflection, deeper thought, and continued conversation as you set off to help your teachers support your students!