Teacher Education

5 Tips to Make Teacher Evaluation Forms That Work

5 Tips to Make Teacher Evaluation Forms That Work

Every teacher wants to know how they’re doing. And the fastest way to find out is with a well-made teacher evaluation form.

Evaluation forms are useful no matter what your role is in a school. Maybe you want to get feedback from your students, or maybe you’re a principal or a student teaching supervisor who conducts observations. Even if you’ve never used a teacher evaluation form in your life, it’s not impossible to create a great one right out the gate.

Here are five reliable ways to make sure your teacher evaluation form really works.

1. Nail down your main goal

Maybe you’re trying to improve your own teaching. Are you trying to help student teachers improve their skills? Are you evaluating specific requirements in your school district? Whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, defining your main goal is the first step to making a teacher evaluation form that works.

2. Identify your objectives

Once you’ve got that main goal, pick the areas you’re evaluating. What are the top five things you’re looking for during the evaluation? If the evaluation is for yourself, what five areas would you like your class or supervisor to focus on? Try to choose no more than seven objectives so your evaluator can give good feedback.

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3. Make space for comments and numeric feedback

Your evaluator needs room to write notes under each objective and overarching notes at the end of the evaluation. Giving them a chance to rate each objective numerically can save a lot of time during an evaluation too. Give your evaluator a Likert scale of 1­–5 (“needs improvement” to “excellent”) so they can give an overall rating.

4. Talk to your evaluator beforehand

Whoever is using this teacher evaluation form will need some advance notice to get familiar with your needs. If they’ve read the form and understand what to look for, this will only improve the quality of their feedback. Teachers and evaluators should also have a chance to sit down afterwards to discuss feedback, clarify notes, and come up with an action plan for improvement.

5. Find out what others are doing

So many teaching professionals are making their own teacher evaluation forms. Why not look for good examples to see which ones you like? We’ve compiled an entire library of observation forms from all 50 states. Check them out: State-by-State Collection of Student Teaching Observation Forms.