Sun | Sep 24, 2017

JTC piloting appraisal instruments for teachers and principals

Published:Thursday | October 20, 2016 | 10:00 AMAndre Poyser

The Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) has begun piloting draft appraisal instruments to assess the performance of teachers and principals. The instruments, which were circulated to educators for their feedback, are to be revised after a review session is held later this month.

The JTC has said the instruments will be used to identify and assess performance on critical areas of school leadership that should result in optimal learning for all students.

"It is not intended as a punitive instrument but to enable the principal/teacher to assess him/herself and position his or her performance on a continuous path of excellence," noted an extract from the draft appraisal tool obtained by The Gleaner said.

The rating scale utilised by the appraisal instrument is based on a credit system, with 130 credits being the maximum that can be obtained.

Educators earning below 65 credits will be deemed unacceptable. Those earning between 65 and 97 credits will be categorised as attaining performance in need of improvement. Proficient educators will be those that earn credits between 98 and 120, while those earning above 120 credits will be designated as exemplary.

Teachers will be appraised on their knowledge of the subject area they teach, pedagogical approach, classroom management, professional development, stakeholder engagement and professional conduct.

The JTC has proposed that formative appraisal for teachers be undertaken every term and summative appraisal carried out once each year.

"Formative appraisal should be led by the head of department or grade coordinator. There should be at least two persons in the team, both of whom should be proficient in the subject being taught by the teacher being appraised. For the summative appraisal, the principal may choose to lead the teacher's appraisal along with another member of staff who is proficient in the subject area or in teaching at the primary level," the draft appraisal documents said.

SCORING

The JTC has further stipulated that principals must score at least 75 per cent of credits in each section of the domain to be appraised as proficient. The domains to be appraised for principals include administration and management, instructional leadership, enabling environment for learning, and personal attributes and development.

The teaching council has encouraged principals to undertake their self-assessment each term. Formative appraisals, which review the performance of principals, have been proposed to be carried out by education officers and school boards every six months. It has been suggested that a summative appraisal of principal performance is be undertaken every two years.

The draft appraisal instrument has stipulated that the summative evaluation is to be conducted by a team of six, which should include an education officer who does not supervise the school, the board chairman, one representative each from the parent-teacher association, staff and student body, and a representative identified by the principal.

andre.poyser@gleanerjm.com