Both of our guests on this week’s webinar shared that they were leading their schools’ work in the process of revising previous criteria for what defined excellence in teaching at their schools.
Justin Brandon, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs at Ravenscroft School (NC) said “What we learned during the pandemic has influenced what we think is excellent teaching.” Joel Sohn, Upper School Director at University Prep (Seattle, WA) added, “Like many others, we’re working to delineate more clearly the lines between feedback, growth, and evaluation.”
Education newsletters are full of articles about faculty departures and stress. However, three researchers (Lori Nishiura Mackenzie, JoAnne Wehner, and Sofia Kennedy) at the Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab, have written about how evaluation can still be meaningful during times of high stress. Their work centers on the importance of continuing to “advance organizational aims during tumultuous times.” This call should resonate with academic leaders and the competency Maintain integrity to mission for the academic program, or, as Sohn put it in our webinar, “Deliver on the promise we made to enrolling families.”
The three researchers recommend that leaders clarify and simplify their evaluation criteria, including stakeholders in the process to “define effective criteria before making critical decisions about [faculty].” This call sounds similar to the process of “picturing the (graduate, teacher, leader)” familiar to many academic leaders–as expectations change, so do evaluation processes.
Want to learn more? Here's a blog post from Brad about intentionality in teaching and learning.
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