Tips for using jet educator evaluations

Tip #1. Become familiar with the objectives.

Picking the objectives you are going to use to evaluate each teacher is going to be the hardest part of this process for the first few years, until you become very familiar with all the objectives. Go to the dashboard, click on the "Objectives" oval, then click on "Print All" at the top of the page of objectives. Print that out in hardcopy, take it home and read it at your leisure. Get your favorite beverage, sit in your comfy chair, put up your feet and read. Take your time. Make notes. Study the objectives. Highlight the ones you like or that you care about. That's the easiest way to learn the objectives.

Tip #2. Start by choosing a small subset of objectives.

Try not to feel overwhelmed. You can do this in bite size pieces. You do not have to pick all the objectives before you start. Pick half dozen or a dozen objectives that you are comfortable with and ready to go evaluate. Select those for everyone. You now are started on your evaluations. You can go back later and add more objectives to everyone's evaluation.

Tip #3. Start by evaluating a small subset of objectives.

Try not to feel overwhelmed. You can do this in bite size pieces. You do not have to do the entire evaluation all on the same day. Take a set of objectives that you are comfortable with and begin to evaluate those. Print out the "Points to Look For" as well as the "Questions to Ask." Then just evaluate this subset of objectives by observing, interviewing and then rating just those objectives. You can go back later and add more objectives and then evaluate them.

Tip #4. Evaluate the same objectives with several people within the same week or so.

Evaluate several teachers (or even all of them) on your favorite objectives. Do this in a short amount of time—so you don't forget what you learned as you were doing the last evaluation. You will find that seeing what you need to observe or asking what you need to ask will come easier the third or fourth time you do it—especially if you do it within a day or two. It will be much faster and easier as you become used to evaluating the same objectives.

Tip #5. When you go out to observe, print out "Points to Look For" for more than one teacher.

Often you will find that after a few minutes in a classroom, you have found all the things on your "Points to Look For" sheet that are going to come up in this lesson. If you have the "Points to Look For" for the neighbor you can pick up and move on to watching the neighbor while you have set aside time for observations.

Tip #6. Ask teachers to tell you when you can see a particular activity.

jet evaluations require you to evaluate particular skills and objectives, rather than whatever you happen to see during the set time when you "do an observation." So you will have to know when transitions happen in order to see one. You will have to know when the students are doing independent work in order to evaluate that. Once you pick objectives and realize you need to see certain kinds of activities don't be shy about asking when that would occur during the day. You don't want to sit in a classroom for an hour and half waiting for something to occur that you can observe in five minutes.

Tip #7. Get the teachers involved in picking objectives.

If you print out all of the objectives for yourself, why not make copies for the teachers? Let them read through and pick out some objectives on which they'd like to improve. If you add a dozen that each teacher has picked to the ones you began with, you may have enough for your first year's evaluations.

Tip #8. Don't expect to do too many objectives the first year.

Until you become really familiar with evaluating these objectives, you may find it rather daunting to observe, interview and rate more than 15 or 20 objectives. Even 15 objectives would be accomplishing a lot with your teachers, as long as most of the objectives that you chose were things that needed improving. You want to build a culture of continuous improvement that is spurred on by recognition of success, so you don't have to be comprehensive right away. Just get some improvement on a handful of concrete objectives, document that in your evaluations, and you'll be on your way.