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My humorous thoughts about life.

"My Humorous and Helpful Thoughts About Teaching / Educational Resources for Your Classroom / Music and Random Fun"

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Pop-In Evaluations and Music, Too

During my time teaching, there was never anything more nerve-wracking than the pop-in evaluation, which often occurred in January or February; however, I remember waiting until half past April, one year. It seemed like it didn't matter how long I had taught, I'd still feel that familiar jump in my chest when the administrator headed into my room. Plus, it wasn't just me. As a specialist teacher, I saw many classroom teachers jump when I opened the door to pick up their kids.

We'd all talk about pop-in evaluations after the fact, or the rumors about who got hit and where teachers saw the administrator headed. "Can you believe she sat it Mrs. Teacher's room and waited for her and her class to come in from recess?"

Blog post about teacher evaluations
One co-worker got so nervous that she forgot her kids' names . . . and this happened during the second semester. Another teacher had her pop-in right before Christmas. In the middle of her evaluation, kids pointed at the clock and yelled, "Miss T., we're missing the Christmas party!" I kid you not. This really did happen at what I called, "Hell Elementary," where I got stuck teaching for two years.

Nervousness is normal. We all feel it, except for maybe the teacher who is ready to retire. Nonetheless, after multiple pop-ins, I got familiar with what it takes to score high and retired as a level five teacher. On our scale, that was great!

Evaluation Tips

Ask and Listen

Before you have your pop-in evaluation, you're bound to have had a planned evaluation with a pre-conference. I've seen these pre-conferences as optional and required. Either way, you should definitely go for it. Become familiar with what the evaluators are looking for and do as they say. If you got tips after your last evaluation, put these into practice. Not just when you think you're going to be evaluated but all the time. Which leads me to the next tip.

Establish a Teaching Routine

There are certain things evaluators look for in ALL evaluations. These vary from administrator to administrator, but certain habits need to become just that. To not do what the evaluator wants in all of your lessons is to set yourself up for failure during the pop-in. How many times do we forget what we should do when we are nervous? It doesn't matter if you are teaching or pulling someone's cavity. You have to be comfortable with the needed steps! If you practice good teaching, ALWAYS, your autopilot will kick in, and you'll be a success.

Thanks for tuning in. Next week, I will get specific about the basic requirements of an evaluation.

Would you like to join my group by clicking below? You will also receive a FREE No Prep Problem Solving Pack, and I often send freebies with my posts.

Link to get FREE teaching resources for GT class.

Monday Music Moves Me

Since it's time for Monday Music Moves Me, and the topic is a freebie, I will post songs that relate to this post in some way. First up is Gloria Gaynor's song, "I will Survive."

Next is "Teacher, Teacher" by 38 Special.


messymimi said...

In my job, i get evaluated every day, and if a client is not satisfied, s/he lets me know. A couple of times not being satisfied and i will be looking for a new client.

Binky said...

Sounds pretty stressful to me, and not the best way to motivate teachers to do a good job.

bookworm said...

Where I work, the customer service reps (I'm not one of them) are recorded, and the phone calls are listened to randomly by management. The fact of recording itself wouldn't make me nervous (it's actually been a plus to the employees at times, where a customer has complained but hasn't been truthful describing the conversation, or, in some instances, has been caught on the recordings being verbally abusive to reps)but just the randomness of being listened to and critiqued would put pressure on me. If I was a teacher, knowing those types of evaluations were going to happen at some point would have made me so nervous. Alana

Cathy Kennedy said...


You know I didn't really think about the evaluation process teachers must deal with on an on-going basis. It's funny that you should mention this in your post because while watching the pilot episode of 'Fear the Walking Dead' the principle, I think, was doing that except he was listening to the teacher through the intercom system. I had all but forgotten that the PA can act a two-way communications except the call button is only on one side. :) You shared some good tips for teachers still in the battlefield. Thanks for joining the 4M gang on the dance floor, my dear. Have a boogietastic week!

Michelle aka Naila Moon said...

Being a teacher is nerve wracking in itself. I come from a long line.

I love your musical picks today. I have not seen that first one in a long time. It just makes me giggle.

Stacy Uncorked said...

My husband comments on the 'pop-in evaluations' when they happen - the dean of his college mentioned needing to do an evaluation right before Christmas, and seemed surprised that my hubby told him to drop-in he did that same day. My hubby treated the dean just like one of his students, even threw questions at him (which he was surprised he answered correctly...) Guess my hubby was turning the tables on the dean, evaluating *him* in his classroom! ;)

Love your song choices, Joyce! Hadn't heard them in a long time, so they were greatly appreciated. :)