MCNC has worked over many years to develop a powerful process that combines peer-led professional development with democratic school governance. In an era when both student learning and teacher effectiveness are being tied to standardized tests alone MCNC Peer Review is a rich and fair alternative. The “Crowdsourcing Teacher Evaluation” Jam gave teachers and school leaders the chance to talk about how to do Peer Review well and whether or not to combine it formally with teacher evaluation.
There are many ways to approach Peer Review. Read about them here and look at teacher reflections on their practice at each stage.
Key Take-Aways from the Jam Conversation
Leadership is a pre-requisite to an effective Peer Review program
It takes a school leader who is committed to staff development and trusting that, given the right resources/structure, teachers will actively engage with one another, enhance their practice and develop evidence of practice improvement
Adoption, change and results cannot manifest over night
It takes several years to make Peer Review an integral part of school culture/way of working
When the whole staff picks a goal teachers grow and students benefit
In addition to individual peer engagement, a whole school pedagogical undertaking binds faculty, raises practice overall and benefits students in terms of both performance and investment in a school
Peer Review and Evaluation CAN mix
Using Peer Review as part of an evaluation process is fairer to the teacher and creates a fuller picture of the teacher’s practice and impact. However, conflating professional development with evaluation is extremely challenging and requires a trusted leader and clear “rules of the game” in advance.