Every year students are assessed in order for teachers to measure their growth and determine what more can be done to help them. Like most teachers, I assess my students on a regular basis and provide feedback as often as I can, the more immediate the better. I assess my students through formative quizzes that are worth minimal points. I assess my students through conversation and 1:1 review sessions. I also assess my students every couple weeks (on average) through a summative test and/or project. Through all of these, I can tell a student is making progress (more so in conversation) as they work through the material at their own pace, getting digital instruction from me whenever they need it and face to face assistance pretty much any time during the school day. It’s a system that works and I’ve got the evidence to back it up.
Now for the system that does NOT work. Every year, teachers put on a show in front of an administrator to show off their skills or pretend as if they’ve been on point all year. Teachers are given weeks or even months to prepare for their one shining moment with little to no feedback along the way. It’s the total opposite of what we expect from our students. It can be the downfall of passionate teachers that need some assistance to reach a level they are capable of. It also allows less than average teachers to appear adequate or even great (shudder). What’s worse is I’ve asked and students notice the difference when their teacher is being observed. It’s not much different than the kid who has the Chromebook open, but when you go over, the screen is black or they’re working on absolutely nothing until you’re watching them. Let’s be better, teachers.