everyone at the table Everyone at the Table: Engaging Teachers in Evaluaton Reform
"You hear about all of these focus groups, but it seems to be after the fact, like a clique was invited to be part of the conversation and you weren't picked—this approach is more inclusive."

–Teacher From Missouri

Getting Started: Plan Your Approach

Sample Plan 2. A Few Key Conversations at the Table

Suggested Timeline Suggested Time Activity Description

Weeks 1–2


Teacher Recruitment

During this time period, the moderator reaches out to all the teachers in the school or district. The moderator works with their schedules, determines a calendar that provides enough time for ample discussion, and shares with teachers the plan for using their insight.

Week 3 or 4

1 hour

“Taking the Temperature”
Part 1: Consensogram
and “Taking the
Temperature” Part 2:
Viewing the Foundations
of Evaluation
PowerPoint Presentation

These activities introduce the concept of engagement to participating teachers and determine their starting points in their knowledge and awareness of teacher evaluation.

Week 4 or 5

2 hours

Focus Group Facilitation Activity (which includes
viewing the Engaging
Teachers in Evaluation
Reform video) (You
also may conduct a single, longer meeting combining the “Taking the Temperature” activities with the other key activities.)

These activities present three different scenarios for teacher evaluation. Each scenario contains different elements in different combinations, none of which are fully right or wrong. This approach provides a starting point for conversation about what an effective evaluation system might look like in your school or district. Teachers will work to build consensus, though it is okay if not everyone agrees and no final consensus is met.

1–4 weeks later

45–90 minutes

One optional activity
chosen from “Optional
Activities for Promoting
Teacher Conversations”
(See Section 4 of the Moderator's Guide)

The moderator chooses the optional activity that will best benefit the participating teachers, based on their input, attitudes, personalities, and knowledge gaps.

For example:

  • Do the Additional Resources and Jigsaw Activity if the teachers enjoy reading more about issues of teaching, reform, and evaluation.
  • Try the Interview Activity if teachers have a great rapport with each other and seem eager to chat.

1–4 weeks later

45–60 minutes

Build Your Own Evaluation: Meeting 1

Drawing on the scenarios from the Focus Group Facilitation Activity as a template, participating teachers will reach consensus about which features should be included in the evaluation plan for your school or district. The results are compiled in Build Your Own Evaluation—Group Handout 1 and Build Your Own Evaluation—Group Handout 2.

1–4 weeks later

45–60 minutes

Build Your Own Evaluation: Meeting 2

The moderator brings printed copies of the Build Your Own Evaluation—Group Handout 2 and shares it with the whole group. Additional teachers may be invited to this meeting. For further clarification, the group may wish to complete Build Your Own Evaluation—Group Handout 3. Based on these reactions, the moderator makes any necessary modifications before sharing the “ideal” evaluation system with the task force or committee or other leaders in the reform.

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