Are you nervous about your upcoming teacher evaluation? I asked Team Sparkle member Yvette Ackerman, a K-5th grade art teacher in Northern California to share how she not only looks forward to evaluations but rocks them!
This is Yvette’s first post with Deep Space Sparkle! If you have any questions or comments, I invite you to share below….
How to Rock Your Art Teacher Evaluation by Yvette Ackerman
I know that nothing can be more nerve wracking than a teacher evaluation. I can still remember my first year as a third grade teacher and how nervous I was. Looking back, I can honestly say that I have not had one bad review in all my 12 years of teaching in both the art room and the regular classroom.
How do I do it?
I began incorporating these 7 little practices to rock my own teacher evaluation and never looked back. Whether you’re an art teacher or a general education teacher, I truly feel these tips can help you make the most of your own teacher evaluation.
1. Set an Intention
Take time to grab a cup of coffee or tea and say your favorite affirmation that reflects how awesome you are. Setting an intention for the day can help keep you focused and calm. Some affirmations may include:
“I am a talented teacher”
“I am uniquely skilled for this job”
“I am creative”
2. Provide Lesson Plans
I like to display my professionalism and dedication by ALWAYS providing lesson plans that are:
– Include finished work examples
– Incorporate extension activities
– Include the standards and objectives
3. Be Welcoming
We all have had different experiences with administrators. Some may have been more supportive than others. It’s important to put the past aside and be the educator that provides a welcoming environment for all who step into your classroom.
Some small gestures might include:
– A simple smile and welcome
– A note to say “I appreciate your time and presence”
– Chocolate- because who wouldn’t appreciate a mid-day treat
– Lesson plans left out in a designated area with the name of your administrator and a smiley face
– Have the class turn and wave to the evaluator, “Good morning Mrs./Ms. we are so happy you can join us!”
I think you’ll find that a small gesture can go a long way. I recently left some chocolate and a note for my administrator last month during my formal observation and she ended up leaving me a note back that completely made my day.
4. Bring the Spark!
Incorporate something into your lesson that excites you and engages your students. For example, I was going to teach my students about sea turtles and we were going to do a painting. I set up the class so that as they walked in, they were greeted with a video of sea turtles swimming.
I researched special facts about sea turtles as they were working and mentioned them as they were working to help peak their interest. These simple things energized my lesson and kept the kids engaged the entire time.
5. Be Prepared
There is a reason why this is the Boy Scout motto. Not only do I always provide highly detailed lesson plans, but I also provide highly detailed notes for myself so it takes all the guess work out of the direct instruction component.
I also make sure that all my supplies are out, accessible to students and all videos and other support materials are ready. I don’t want my students to have to wait for me to get things together during the lesson.
By doing this, there are few behavior issues because my students are continually engaged. As my administrator says, down time kills student engagement.
6. Tidy Up
We owe it to our students and ourselves to have a clean, organized space. I know this is not always doable, but if you’re at a school where your administrator only comes into your classroom once or twice a year, it’s important to leave a good impression which basically means a clean classroom.
7. Positivity is Key
This is my final tip and I believe it is the most important.
– Be gentle with yourself. This is only one experience and the outcome does not define you as an educator or more importantly as a person.
– Allow the feedback to help you grow into the best version of yourself as an educator.
– Celebrate the positive feedback. Sometimes we focus too much on the areas of growth.
– Be thankful for the experience and try to find something to look forward to next time.
I just know that if you can follow some of these tips, that your teacher evaluation will be as AMAZING as you all are.
Do you have an art teacher evaluation coming up? What are your biggest concerns?
Great tips Yvette! I love how you talk about evaluations being a joy and not something to dread. It’s all about mindset and that totally comes through in your happy writing! Thanks for sharing!
This only works if your observations are scheduled. I get observed 3 times a year. All random and unannounced. Each observation is 15 minutes so they base all their feedback on a short time they see me.
Thats definitely high stress but perhaps some of the tips could apply…maybe a stash of chocolates in a drawer is a good thing! Thanks for sharing 🙂
do You have a lesson plan layout that you use?
I am looking for great lesson plans for elementary to use for my evaluation to base and evaluate my. own.