Sunday, March 20, 2011

Teacher Appraisals

Teacher Appraisals

While I am reviewed every two years for contract renewal in my current position I have yet to be fired for a poor appraisal? While I am on my third two year contract (five years and a month in) it is my longest held position in fifteen years. I am also my most satisfied with my employers and managers so there appears to be some mutual benefits to positive or possibly few appraisals.

Two points to consider for transfer to teaching when considering appraisals. The first was a Gallup Poll on workplace disengagement in the US brought to my attention by Renée Cormier in her blog that as little as 29% of employees are actively engaged in their work, that 71% are completely disengaged and as many as 17% are engaged in sabotaging the work of their peers. This recalls for me the movie Office Space (with official trailer included) a comedy about the same nation and a comment my boss made once that only 30% of our students really care about their studies. I have a tendency to agree with him.

The second point recalls a course I took in positive versus negative rewards and their influences upon intrinsic motivations. The balance of the topic of annual appraisals were described as being poor at delivering motivational improvements based upon negative comments or events simply because most workers cannot recall a year’s worth of appraised performance. The conclusion was made that when a manager needs to encourage motivational changes based on poor performance the review and appraisal needs to be made as soon as possible after the event to assist employee ownership and identification of the problem. I would say the same thing regarding assessments in the classroom. No news should be good news and bad news should be delivered as soon as possible to be useful in changing a student’s performance?

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