HISD begins second year of teacher appraisal and development system
The Houston Independent School District's 2012-13 school year will be the second complete year of the revamped teacher appraisal and development system.
All HISD teachers received training in August regarding the changes and resources available for the upcoming school year in an effort to improve teaching in the community. New resources include technology tools for the appraisal and evaluation system, and video tutorials of effective classroom strategies. Teachers are able to access this content 24 hours a day through the HISD Professional Support and Development website.
The teacher evaluation process in the United States, a touchy subject in school districts across the United States, has often struggled to define a fair system of measurement. The HISD has introduced a Student Performance portion of their evaluation system this year, in addition to performance measurement in the areas of Instructional Practice and Professional Expectations. The training sessions provided guidelines for teachers as they enter into the new system.
The in-service trainings gave teachers an opportunity to evaluate and discuss their opinions on the appraisal and evaluation system, including last year's inaugural run.
"It actually went better than I thought," said Traci Jones, a sixth-grade reading intervention teacher at Hartman Middle School, in a press release. "One of the things my appraiser said I needed to work on was differentiation. Being used to teaching in a certain way for years, I realized I possibly wasn't doing enough differentiation for my students. So he really brought my attention to that and I was glad so I could focus on that more."
As part of the HISD's Effective Teachers Initiative, the appraisal and development system aims to set high expectations for area educators while developing a successful educational community focused on smart recruitment, useful appraisals, individualized achievement and new career pathways.
School Improvement Officer Anastasia Lindo-Anderson says the system strives to make the complete education of its children the top priority.
"As our teachers get stronger, as our appraisers get clearer about what they want to see in the classroom, as we start to look at the student performance measure and make sure that what we're doing makes a difference in the lives of kids, I only see HISD becoming that much more successful."
For more information about the Houston Independent School District, visit houstonisd.org.
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