Video Showcase

Video Showcase

STEMTLnet Video ShowcaseThe STEM Teacher Leadership Video Showcase features 3-minute videos submitted by teacher leaders and those engaged in creating teacher leadership programs. View their inspiring stories and make sure to leave a comment! Share on social media and "like" your favorites!

Teacher evaluation and related lessons

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Our district has a teacher evaluation committee that has empowered teachers and administrators to collaborate and develop a system that addresses the needs of the district. This committee worked together in creating the evaluation system and has continually revisited it, adjusted it and revised it. Teachers have found their voices in this work over the decade since its creation.

Teacher voice has played a critical role in the development of the teacher evaluation system in RSU 9 in rural Maine.  Teachers and district leaders speak to that work specifically as well as general teacher leadership advice that can be applied to any and all educational topics.

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Kaye Ebelt
Kirstin Milks
John Seelke
Rebecca Cummings


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I made this video to showcase the fact that teacher voice can and should be part of all discussions that involve education.  I know I am fortunate to work in a small district, but the message should be the same for every educator.  If you are interested, get involved and find a way to be heard!

As you watch this video, please think about questions that you have or things you would like to hear more about.  I would love to discuss this topic and others about teacher engagement, STEM or otherwise.

Thanks for watching, and I look forward to hear your thoughts on this.

Mon, 11/07/2022 - 7:43 AM Permalink
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In reply to by Beth Byerssmall

Thanks, Beth.  There are so many ways that teachers can lead without leaving the classroom.  I would encourage anyone interested to have a discussion here, with me, or with any of the other creators to discuss those pathways!

Thank you again for the post and for watching!

Mon, 11/07/2022 - 10:53 AM Permalink
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Hi Doug:  This was pretty refreshing to see/hear.  Teachers expressing that they have a true voice in decision making.  Too often when I speak with teachers they feel they are not heard or invited to help form policies in their district.  Have you experienced any growth issues that have caused you to shift a bit?  Congrats and continue this initiative.  Thanks for sharing.

Tue, 11/08/2022 - 8:34 PM Permalink
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In reply to by Doug Scott

Thanks, Doug.

Thanks for the question, as well.  I am not entire sure if I understand it, but I will provide an answer.  If I miss the mark, please let me know.

For me, as a teacher leader, I have been very fortunate to not have faced many obstacles.  My building and district leadership has been incredibly supportive of my pathway, encouraging me almost universally, as I have taken on more responsibilities.  We have had some bumps in the road, certainly, but the committee continues to keep moving forward and supporting this initiative, as we all believe in the value of a good teacher evaluation system.  Did I answer the question?  If not, please let me know!

Tue, 11/08/2022 - 9:06 PM Permalink
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I love this idea that more perspectives can lead to more folks trusting in the evaluation system! I'm curious about the re-visions after the first co-co-created policy was released and put into use in your context. How often do you revisit it? How do updates get put into place?

Thanks for a glimpse into this work!

:) Kirstin, who also has a video in this showcase.

Thu, 11/10/2022 - 10:35 AM Permalink

Thanks for the question, Kristin.

We developed the system over a couple years, starting in 2013-14.  It was in place until COVID hit, and we made adjustments to the system.  We reviewed the system last year when evaluation for all continuing contract staff was put on hold.  Having said that, as the need for changes is seen, we adjust along the way.  The committee meets 3-5 times a year to check on the implementation and also how things are going.  The need for additional supports is also identified through those meetings, such as having a webinar to talk about how you include evidence to your plan on the software.

Thank you again!

Sun, 11/13/2022 - 12:12 PM Permalink

Thanks for the question, Margo.  The statute requires there to be a peer component each year.  We have required peer observations in the past, but now we have broadened out that to include any collaborative effort that teachers engage in, such as observations, PLC time, common assessment development and review or data review and planning.  Working on student learning objectives is another option as well.

Thanks for the thought and feedback!


Sun, 11/13/2022 - 12:02 PM Permalink
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This makes perfect sense!  The evaluation system has been at the heart of my frustration since I started teaching.  We have a school board of people who are not trained as educators dictating policy, then we have admins who are checking those walk-throughs off their lists, and creating so much stress in the process.  We are asking our students to do more problem-solving, and need to model that as well.  I can sense the teamwork that is happening in your district.  Was this always there or did you have to work at it?

Sun, 11/13/2022 - 9:24 AM Permalink

Hello Rebecca.

First, I am sorry to hear of your struggles with evaluation in your district.  I know that it can often feel as though it is done TO us, rather than WITH us.  

Prior to our current system, we had a largely narrative system that was at the discretion of the administrators.  They would often plan a visit and document what they saw, which promoted "dog and pony show" type teaching, where staff would bring out their one best lesson to showcase.

Due to a change in state statute, we had to develop a new evaluation system that was built by a committee consisting of more than 50% teachers.  From there, we moved through the process.  I would be more than happy to discuss the topic with you and give you possible ideas as to how you might approach your district leadership regarding evaluation.  

I hear your frustration, and I am sorry that it is not a more powerful and beneficial system in your district.  There is hope, really!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, and I hope I can help you make some progress on this.

Mon, 11/14/2022 - 8:19 AM Permalink
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I agree, teachers should be part of the evaluation process and am grateful that you have a process to include their voices. I wonder, how do you (your district) balance their voices with other stakeholders in the evaluative process? (e.g., teacher unions, administrators, the Board, parents?)

Mon, 11/14/2022 - 7:02 AM Permalink

Hello Elegan.

Thank you for your note and your questions.

The statute requires that the committee consist of more than 50% teachers, who are approved by the local association.  Given that we want engaged and invested teachers on the committee, no one has ever been turned away if they have wanted to participate, unless their building is already represented on the committee.  We have three building level administrators, a mid-level administrator and a district level administrator on the committee, meaning all are represented.  We have worked with the consensus model and have yet to encounter a topic we cannot work through.  The Board and public are provided updates, but the statute gives the committee the authority to make the decisions.

I would be more than happy to answer any other questions you might have, as the process has worked well for our district.

Thanks again.

Mon, 11/14/2022 - 8:23 AM Permalink
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