Carmel teachers talk evaluations
By Amanda Foust
Teachers and administrators of Carmel/Clay schools have been working this summer in formed committees to improve the current teacher evaluation systems. At the school board meeting Aug. 11, teacher Luther Lofland presented an update on the committee’s stance, and showed what the new method of evaluating teachers would look like.
Lofland said that he felt all of the teachers’ concerns were heard when going through this process.
He told the board that 40 teachers and administrators were involved in the committee. Of the members, nine were split into a subcommittee for further research. The small committee has determined tweaks and recommendations that reflect the thoughts of the entire committee to express at the next school board meeting.
The hope is to use this new evaluation tool for evaluating teachers in the coming years.
Supt. Dr. Nicholas Wahl said he hopes this method of evaluation will be implemented this year.
Board Member Pam Knowles said: “We agree, the sooner the better. Teachers should know what they are being evaluated on.”
The committee has done an evidence based, researched evaluation alongside teachers interest and perspective. They have looked at studies and found key lenses for effective evaluations and plan to look more into those particular models.
“We have a great collaborative process,” said teacher Martha McFarland.
The middle school has its own middle school program evaluation committee.
“We have learned the ‘why’ of what looks best for middle school kids and our next steps are to receive feedback from all involved,” said teacher Stephanie Swartzendruber.
They expressed a strong engagement and collaborative effort being done to see what works best for the students.
“Collaborative teachers results in a higher degree of students’ needs being met,” Wahl said.
The goal is to look at the current schedule and implementing the changes this time next year based on the findings of the committees.
Thanks to the committee’s efforts, Swartzendruber said, “We are able to be mindful about how to go from great to greater and have an increased awareness.”