Evaluations: Which Came First, The Principal or the Good Behavior?


I’m fascinated by the reaction that many people have to an evaluation. In my humble opinion, they don’t seem to like them.

Call me crazy (trust me, I have been called worse).

The reaction is very subtle, but if you look closely you can see the disgust. And the steam coming out of orphuses (I have always wanted to use that word in a blog).

It is like people have to go through a greiving process.

Which Comes First?

Which Comes First?

There is denial.

Then anger.

Followed by bargaining.

Depression.

And finally, acceptance.

If you stop and think about it, no one has ever died from an evaluation (you just wish you would).

While this isn’t always the case, an evaluation does make most of us at least a little nervous.

It seems that most people are happy with their present job performance. They already have their own opinion on their abilities and they like it (they generally believe they are model employees… human nature I guess).

I have more respect for evaluations since I started being the one who does them.

If done correctly, I really believe you can help people become better at their jobs. And I assume this works in any type of business.

This can be done (in most cases) without subjecting employees to a torturous process that takes away the will to live (or makes them want to take away my ability to live).

And even more importantly, the evaluator doesn’t want them to lose the will to work hard for the good of the students.

If for some reason they aren’t better for going through the evaluation, I know I am.

Evaluations have been a great learning experience for me. Granted I could do without the paperwork, but overall they are quite interesting and educational (I almost always learn something about teaching and the subject area while I conduct an evaluation).

If I’d had the opportunity to watch 50 different teachers while I was still in the classroom, I am positive that I would have done a better job in my role as a teacher.

Every teacher teaches in a slightly different way, but most seem to get the job done.

It occurred to me that the really great teachers seem to do a few things alike.

One, they teach the entire class period. And the students know it. These teachers don’t have time to waste because there are too many concepts they need/want to cover.

Secondly, they are in the same mood every day. Could be outgoing and happy. Could be quiet and reserved, but their students always know what to expect.

Students like surprises, like a new car on their birthday. They don’t like surprises, like drastic psychotic mood swings from adults (mental note… neither does my wife).

When kids walk into a great teacher’s classroom they know instantly what to expect. They are going to be constructively busy the entire period and the teacher’s personality won’t be a surprise.

There is one other thing that the really good teachers seem to do. They dismiss their students when the bell rings (or after the bell rings… after all they have a lot to accomplish in one class period).

Seems like a small thing, but I have definitely seen a pattern.

When an evaluation is complete, I seem to hear one comment more than any other… “The students sure were good while you (place evaluator’s name here) were in the classroom.”

My question for the day (or the blog)…

is that because an administrator was in the room…

or because the teacher was giving 110%, completely organized, and teaching a lesson that is interesting and engaging?

Which came first? The administrator or the good behavior?

Or the great lesson?

This blog is only one person’s opinion. My wife refers to that person as… clueless. As a teacher, she likes the evaluation process. Who is right? Do most people (in any job) like being evaluated, or consider it a necessary (forced upon them) evil?

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.