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Evaluations- is this normal behavior?



Senior Member
I'm just curious about something. I work closely with a group of teachers who are absolutely obsessed with their evals. My state has a statewide rubric and under each item, the categories are basic, partially proficient, proficient, accomplished, and exemplary. I understand feeling anxious/stressed about observations. I want to do my best and I'm always really anxious to get my scores back.

However, these teachers started talking LAST YEAR about how to get "perfect evals" this year and have been obsessively working on it since. They've nitpicked the rubric to make sure they've implemented everything that will get them "exemplary" in every category and they have binders with all of their documentation should the P not notice all of this "exemplary" behavior. Just one small example- they've assigned students "accountability partners" because one of the things in the exemplary category is "students keep each other on task during class periods" or something like that.

Pay isn't tied to our evals, and per state requirements a percentage is based on not only school, but also district state testing scores- which IMO, is ridiculous. Some years it's been mathematically impossible to be rated "exemplary" because of the district state test scores.

You can get into some trouble if you're rated "partially proficient" 2 years in a row. Prior to my observation this year, I did look through the rubric and try to tie in anything that hadn't been marked yet for the proficient category. I'm honestly happy as long as I'm proficient- I feel like evals can be super biased and one observation lesson doesn't tell the whole story about what kind of teacher I am.

Just curious- do other people obsess like this? This behavior just seems so weird to me. But maybe I'm the weird one LOL.


Senior Member

Hell no! :rolleyes: I don't have time to worry about all that! I will never have perfect evaluations, because I know I'm human and make a crapton of mistakes on a daily basis. Those teachers are going to drive themselves into an early grave! smh


Senior Member
Nope. Not normal at all. But I know that my P is going to try to give me an unsat and put me through Peer Assistance Review next year so I'm a little stressed about next year already. But that's kind of a unique situation.

We don't worry overmuch about evals. Our pay isn't tied to our evals.


Senior Member

Even our principal said not every single thing would be seen in every single lesson.

I don’t have time for that LOL


Senior Member
That is crazy! I just had an informal observation this past week & used technology in the lesson, which of course, had glitches. Your co-workers would have freaked out, no doubt! LOL But the important parts were that the kids were practicing a skill, having fun while doing it & I stayed calm & cool throughout the glitches (as did the kids!)

I'll take my kind of teaching (which is prob yours, as well) over theirs (stressful, no doubt) every day.

Enjoy your (stress-free) weekend! :)


Senior Member
Teachers are on an eternal wheel inside a cage. There is no way you get off to claim the "perfect"lesson. Admin are trained to look for the "wrong" and teach teachers (mostly female) that they are never going to be what admin want. Then the teachers clamor for the next bandwagon,hoping admin will be pleased once the teachers climb on board. It truly is a game where districts pull in money from the federal government claiming to have plans to train their teachers on how to be perfect. I prefer that teachers coach other teachers and trust each other as they help each other. That was the mindset years ago.


Full Member
Absolutely not

Teacher evaluations have drastically changed over the years, and it has only added to the stress, and in my opinion lowers our moral. I just try to do my best with what I'm dealt with every year, and I always try to remember that in the end, it really is just a job.


Full Member
In my state

It's literally impossible to get a perfect evaluation. Principals are trained to never give a perfect evaluation here. So your coworkers would be ripping their hair out over here.


Senior Member
I can see some personality types

finding it a challenge. That is, some principal or some person announces that it is impossible to get a perfect score on an evaluation and then someone looking at the rubrics and thinking that they do nearly everything on the rubric and thinking that THEY could and should get a perfect evaluation.

Then setting out to do it.

I can also see that a very persuasive personality type could convince others on her team to jump on the "get a perfect evaluation" bandwagon.

I did something similar one year. I wanted to grow as a teacher, so I selected one of the 7 domains to get a "perfect score" in. I did collect evidence as well.
It worked. But I don't feel the need to carry that out to all seven domains. I have few enough hours in the day as it is.


Senior Member
I agree with PrivateEye- it's good that they're looking at the categories- not necessarily to get a perfect eval, but to make sure they're meeting standards in their teaching. But they definitely should not be obsessing over it.

I am a perfectionist (as many teachers are). Of course I'd love a perfect eval! But I honestly don't put any thought into it. I figure I do my best every single day, that I should be ready to be observed at any moment. I'm not all about the dog and pony show. I don't prep my kids for observations, and I also don't prep a special lesson for observations. I do what I do everyday- good, sound teaching.


Senior Member
Some I work with want to be "perfect", fine with me. They can make themselves crazy, lol. Not me. I gave up chasing someone else's idea of the ideal teacher long ago. I always get very positive evals. However, I do have an admin who knows I do a good job, test scores show student progress, don't cause problems, she gets no parent complaints, etc. Generally, I make her life easier LOL

There's more to life than chasing an elusive teacher rubric!

word girl

Senior Member
It's not normal behavior for me at all. I'm happy with the proficient rating myself, because I know my worth internally.

I think all of these evaluations have become bastardized. You either feel the need to be perfect, or hit every rubric in the evaluation (when there's like 50 of them).

Also, many times the rubrics are not realistic for primary age students.

I can understand taking constructive criticism to heart and trying to improve one point of a lesson. For example, once I was marked down for not using enough movement in a lesson. I reflected on that and determined that it was an important piece to work on. The next time I was evaluated I was able to show that I had implemented more movement and my evaluation rose in that area.

But to worry about that on all 50 points of the rubric? No way.


Senior Member
We never even discussed our evals with friends and were just happy to get them over with.

However, I do think accountability partners can sometimes be a good thing. My goal would be for kids to be accountable for themselves, but we all need a little help, right? So maybe some of the things your colleagues are implementing because of evals are actually good?


Senior Member

I always strive to be highly proficient on my evaluation. Student test scores are 40% of our evaluation. For many years I’ve been able to make the category but two years ago I had three kids that had over thirty absences and then I had a student who moved into my class 2 weeks before testing. All four students counted on my evaluation. Needless to say I didn’t make highly proficient. Last year I missed it by one tenth of a point. I was ticked off because I couldn’t control those outside factors yet I was judged by them. While I still work hard to do well I basically just say oh well and move on. It’s not worth the stress.


Senior Member
Yall dont live in Florida then, lol

Our pay is tied to evaluations/student growth scores AND stupid government has put forth a Best and Brightest scholarship fund for the last several years where only Highly Effective Teachers can get up to 6000 dollars a year.

So making sure you have documentation of what you do that the prince may not have seen is actually what we do to CYA here.


Senior Member
Nope!! Nothing is tied to it or test scores however. I have not had a formal observation under the new Danielson evaluation system. My last formal observation was five years ago under a different principle. I am due for formal evaluation this year before mid April as part of my 3-year recertification cycle.
It has not even been mentioned yet since our P is so busy doing all the newer teachers.

I might glance at the rubric. I have always gotten good evaluations with either proficient or whatever the next higher thing is. I don't care if I don't get a bunch of 4s, but I better not get any 2s is my philosophy. 34 years in. I don't get too worked up over this nonsense. LOL:rolleyes:


Senior Member
My goal is proficient, also. But after you get proficient nailed, it is always a personal challenge to find areas that you can get marked up on. I find myself now working to find ways I can get some areas marked to exemplary. It isn't an obsession - but there are things that we do that aren't observed. Those things deserve kudos.

Not obsessed though. And not perfect.


Full Member
Teachers are on an eternal wheel inside a cage. There is no way you get off to claim the "perfect"lesson. Admin are trained to look for the "wrong" and teach teachers (mostly female) that they are never going to be what admin want. Then the teachers clamor for the next bandwagon,hoping admin will be pleased once the teachers climb on board. It truly is a game where districts pull in money from the federal government claiming to have plans to train their teachers on how to be perfect. I prefer that teachers coach other teachers and trust each other as they help each other. That was the mindset years ago.
anna NAILS It. We need a like button for posts or one that say PERFECT. In our state it is the politicians that keep moving the bar and changing it up as fast they can. (Fla)

NJ Teacher

Senior Member
Sounds obsessive, but...

These so-called objective, standards-based evaluation systems have created an atmosphere of competition rather than collegiality. We lost true tenure in NJ when the state forced these on the districts, because as you correctly said, even if you were previously tenured and received two partially efficient evaluations, you could lose your job. It created a lot of stress.

I saw my school go from collegial to competitive. Teachers would unite for special projects which gained them points in the evaluation system. These were not done as a grade level, and I was often the odd teacher out, especially when there were only 5 teachers at the grade. The principal loved this. Even when I volunteered to have my class spotlighted for an opportunity, she never chose us. I never felt it was an equal playing field.

Despite the appearance of objectivity, my principal did play favorites and once I realized there was little I could do in her eyes to be exceptional, especially my retirement year, I didn't play the game anymore. I didn't have the ego or the stomach to do it, and I lost the desire to do all the extra work. As you correctly said, your pay is not impacted and being rated "effective" is enough to be re-hired.

I do think it is obsessive, but I think some people do want to stand out and more power to them. You are definitely not the weird one, though, and you probably have more of a complete life not involving school, hopefully.


Senior Member
It is actually sad that so many teachers are

allowing someone else to define them like that. I think most P's have their minds made up about your eval before they ever even come.
I will admit when I was in my 20's and 30's, I took evals to heart because I really respected, admired, and felt the evaluators ( not always P's) were educated, skilled, and highly experienced. It was an excellent district for teachers.
If I had gotten a less than stellar observation, I'd have felt bad then.

We did not have to jump through hoops like some evaluation systems are now. I don't think I'd have had time to do that back then because I was so busy doing my absolute best at teaching, coaching, and committee work.

Fast forward to now, I barely give a __about evals. I am not as motivated as I once was to do extras. I kind of resent it when they try to push extra work on my plate that has nothing to do w/ teaching. ( Example: Baking cookies for a family night...not happening here!)
Also, I have forgotten more than my P ever knew to begin with! I don't even respect or agree with his educational philosophy. He can't get the kids to do 1/10 of what I can so him evaluating me is a joke.
I guess I should be thankful to have gotten to work for a P like him. I don't worry or plan anything different for evals. It is a normal day and I refuse to document everything I do. I do not have time. I try to take the time I have after work and on wkends to enjoy myself and rest. In some ways, this makes me an even better teacher because I am well rested and cheerful. <!--frog--><!--frog-->