Training Modules in Teacher Evaluation tailored to meet your needs

Rather than using a “one size fits all” approach found in many commercially-developed teacher evaluation systems, Dr. Peterson designs training modules to meet the unique needs of each school district.  Training sessions can range from short refresher sessions, usually in a 1-2 hour time frame, to half-day formats, and to longer sessions over a full day, or multiple days, in a comprehensive training format.  In each case the training is tailored to the needs of the local district, using the school district's teacher performance appraisal criteria and descriptors. 

Examples of previous workshops include:

  • Performance Appraisal Reports
  • Empowering Language
  • Pre- and Post-conferencing Strategies

Support multiple models of assessment to meet requirements for Teacher Evaluation


Teacher Performance Appraisal--Background

Traditional teacher performance evaluation has focused primarily on rating teachers’ performance to make personnel decisions.  Rarely have evaluation systems focused on developing the skills of the teacher to become better at their craft.  This top-down process produces predictable results, with supervisors and teachers going through the motions of formal classroom observations, routine feedback sessions, and superficial written reports.  The goal of Peterson Educational Leadership is to transform teacher evaluation into a system that promotes authentic learning on the part of the teacher which result in improved teacher performance and student learning.

Current efforts to promote high quality teaching and learning in Minnesota school districts include both the Minnesota’s Alternate Teacher Professional Pay System (ATPPS/Q Comp) as well as the state-mandated Teacher Development and Evaluation (TDE) system.  These systems rely heavily on direct observation of classroom performance by school administrators and by peer evaluators.  Dr. Peterson’s training equips observers of classroom instruction with the skills and abilities to provide valid and reliable evaluations within a climate of trust, mutual respect and collaboration with teachers.

Dr. Peterson has also worked with schools in Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and Texas in their development of teacher evaluation instruments.  Additionally, he has consulted with international schools in Sweden, Italy, Germany, Qatar, and China in the development of teacher performance appraisal instruments and training peer instructional coaches.

Quality Compensation (Q Comp) Evaluator Training

I have trained over 500 administrators and peer evaluators in over 25 Minnesota Q Comp schools.   This training has helped develop high rates of inter-rater reliability in evaluations, insuring fairness and validity in the Q Comp system.  The following training modules have been used extensively in several districts, and can be designed to fit short time frames (one to two-hour minimum, or half-day), or longer time frames (full day or multiple days):

§  Criteria and Descriptors for Effective Teaching:  Each Q Comp school system has an approved definition of quality teaching, using a series of criteria and descriptors.  Many Minnesota districts have used the Four Domains of the Charlotte Danielson system, which I have used in my University instruction and consulting for the past 15 years.  Other districts have constructed their own “home cooking,” by developing a series of criteria and descriptors designed to meet the unique needs of their school system.  In these instances I use the district’s criteria and descriptors in his instruction, insuring that all evaluators have a thorough understanding of the meaning of each of the descriptors. 

§  Data Collection:     Evaluators are trained in the use of multiple ways of collecting data from classroom observations.  Workshop participants learn how to collect data using these techniques: 1) scripting of classroom interaction, 2) creating a Timeline of teacher actions, 3) creating an Anecdotal Log of teacher actions, 4) using video and photography to document classroom action, 5) classroom walkthroughs, 6) examining teacher designed artifacts and portfolios, as well as 7) examining student performance data.

§  Pre-and Post-Conferencing Strategies:  Participants will learn techniques to conduct both formative and summative appraisal conferences with teachers.  They will learn how to tailor their strategies to the needs of teachers at different stages of their professional development.  Participants will learn how to conduct a pre-conference, using the district’s approved protocol documents.  They will also learn the Four-Phase Post-Conference Model which can be adapted for use in any school district using Q Comp systems.  This model has been used successfully in school districts through Minnesota, resulting in improved trust and confidence in the Q-Comp systems.

§  Inter-rater Reliability:  While there will always be a certain degree of subjectivity in evaluating teacher performance, the goal of this training module is to have all evaluators “on the same page”.  Without consistency in ratings among evaluators, the evaluation system lacks fairness for teachers, which is a significant problem in the implementation of any evaluation system.  Dr. Peterson’s training module for promoting inter-rater reliability uses multiple strategies, including live simulations, observations of classroom instruction in real time, and rating video segments of teaching.

§  Performance Appraisal Reports:  Training in this module focuses on using writing techniques that fully capture the essence of a teacher’s performance, both in an individual lesson (Formative Appraisal Report), as well as summarizing a teacher’s performance over the course of a given school year (Summative Evaluation Report).  The improved writing skills achieved by participants in this training will help evaluators write reports using improved levels of technical vocabulary, attention to legal issues in crafting reports, and documentation of both strengths and limitations of a teacher’s performance. 

§  Developing Individual Growth and Development Plans:  Traditional teacher performance evaluation focuses on rating a teacher’s performance based on a set of criteria and descriptors, often with little follow up in helping teachers design and implement goals for improvement.   Participants in this training module will develop the skills necessary to design written improvement plans, and to design specific action plans that meet the requirements of the Q Comp system in Minnesota.

§  Empowering Language this training module focuses on advanced skills for experienced evaluators in the use of oral and written language to promote reflection on the part of teachers.  Dr. Peterson trains participants in the use of the Reflective Inquiry Model, which has been used successfully in many different settings to set high expectations for teachers using cognitive coaching strategies.  Participants will learn the magic words to avoid, and to use, in their oral and written interactions with teachers and will learn how words can hinder or help teachers to become motivated learners.

§  Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions!  Effective feedback consists of far more than the evaluator “telling and selling” an analysis of a lesson to the teacher after an observation.  Dr. Peterson’s training goes beyond the superficial praise/criticism approach by training participants to use multiple methods for giving teachers growth-inducing feedback on their teaching.  Participants will examine strategies used by principals and peer coaches to give teachers the feedback they need to become the best they can be.

§  Cognitive Coaching and Teacher Mentoring: This training module focuses on helping Q- Comp administrators and peer evaluators to become effective coaches and mentors with their colleagues.  Participants will learn how to use a variety of styles in coaching teachers, including non-directive, collaborative and directive strategies with their colleagues.  Participants will engage in exercises designed to help them develop the skills necessary to promote teacher growth.  Conferencing techniques using cognitive coaching strategies will also be a focus of this module of instruction.

§  Mediocre Teachers:  Improvements in teacher training and in the hiring process have helped in insuring that all students meet high quality teachers every day in their classrooms.   Most teachers possess the technical and interpersonal skills to function effectively, yet other staff members are just getting by, and they seemingly have lost their zeal for making improvements in teaching.  Their performance is usually not at a point that leads to placement on a termination track, yet they certainly are not doing work that maximizes student learning.  Participants in this module of instruction will learn strategies for re-kindling the drive and motivation of under-performing teachers to become the best they can be.


Current/Previous Minnesota Q Comp Training clients

Wayzata | Orono | Eden Prairie | Minnetonka | Shakopee | Big Lake | Mahtomedi | Chisago Lakes | Worthington | Hawley | Delano  
St. Paul Conservatory | Lincoln School  (Minneapolis) | Osseo | Anoka Hennepin | Lakeville | Redwood Falls | Prior Lake
  STRIDE Academy (St. Cloud) | HOPE Academy (St. Paul) | Brooklyn Center | Marshall