Videotaped Lessons Change the Nature of Teacher Evaluation

It’s not surprising that when it comes to evaluation, teachers would prefer submitting videotapes of their best lessons rather than having their principals drop in, conspicuously, on their class. But it turns out that many principals prefer it too.

Last year, four teachers at Young Oak Kim Academy, a Los Angeles middle school, participated in the Best Foot Forward Project. The new national initiative, which in its first year included 350 teachers and 101 administrators at 85 schools, allows teachers to choose videos of their best lessons for evaluation. Directed by the Center for Education Policy at Harvard University, the project aims to determine if such an approach can improve the teacher evaluation process.

Andrew Conroy, the assistant principal at Young Oak Kim, is convinced it does. He calls the video evaluation process a “one-hundred percent” success—and “a night and day difference from how we traditionally observe teachers.”

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