Teachers, administrators, and school board members have worked together to create a plan that says, “Being a teacher in Waukee represents the highest level of professionalism, caring, and commitment to students.” The Waukee Community School District’s Professional Growth and Evaluation Model will continue to evolve over time, responding to teacher and administrative input.
The District has moved from a traditional “one size fits all” evaluation to a professional growth model that recognizes career stages. The professional growth model contains clear criteria that defines the skill of teaching and recognizes and validates individual teaching styles.
Perhaps most importantly, a Teacher Evaluation and Professional Growth Task Force made up of teachers and evaluators met several times during the 2007-08 school year and piloted this model. While engaging in that work, the team focused on making the process we use more formative in nature, and less formal as it relates to the paperwork. We believe the revised contents of this document will highlight the improvements in the model.
For the initial licensed teacher, the model provides support for growth, clear expectations, patterns for professional behavior, and a system of accountability. The principal and the mentor provide leadership during those first critical years of a teacher’s career.
With the career teacher, a professional growth focus emerges. Teachers partner with their principal as they set growth goals. Instruction reflects the Iowa Teaching Standards and characteristics of effective teaching as defined by the Danielson Framework, is shaped by defined actions, and aligns district, building, and individual goals.
The work of our career teachers reflects two presumptions:
- the presumption of competence – Competence has been clearly demonstrated; continuing employment is not an issue.
- the presumption of continued learning – Evaluations, using the Professional Growth Model, are not about employment status but are about a demonstrated desire to continue to grow professionally.
Teachers, school board members, administrators, and parents together can shape the future of education.