Observations play a big role in the evaluation of a teacher’s performance, but most of these observations are conducted by principals and external evaluators.
Education Week asked teachers what they think about peer evaluations, and several chimed in to say more teacher-to-teacher feedback is what’s needed.
And observations needn’t always be critical. A teacher from New York City, Maura N. Henry, points out that newer teachers can learn a lot by observing their more experienced colleagues:
It was easy to know who to observe—we all had our strengths and they were not secrets: Christina had great classroom management skills, Kristen’s math workshop was efficient and fast-paced, Mel’s small groups were strongly differentiated….
The opportunity to learn from colleagues was invaluable, and the peer observation option made the teacher-evaluation process a learning one instead of strictly a disciplinary one.