In training principals to evaluate their teachers, Papadopoulos said a lot of the emphasis is on "courageous conversations," and helping principals understand that teachers need positive feedback, too - just like students.
"All the collective conversations that the system calls for, I'm sure there were folks who were doing that and doing it well before," said Pam Gould, principal at Watts Elementary. "But this is explicit in that it's about that - it forces collaboration."
Gould and Watts Elementary, on Charleston's West Side, were part of the pilot project's second wave of implementation. She's been largely happy with the system as she's worked with it this year.
There's been murmuring in the education community about the extra workload an intricate evaluation system would put on principals. But Gould brushed aside the notion that the prescribed conversations with teachers could be seen as anything but useful for professional educators.
"It was work and time well spent," she said. "It really is focused on students and learning, so every conversation that we had was useful."
Dixie Billheimer, CEO of the Center of Professional Development, touted the system as a way for principals to stay involved in the classroom - principals are given responsibility for their teachers' and students' performance, and this gives them a hand in effecting those outcomes.
"We always talk about the principals being the instructional leaders in the school," she said. "I think this is a way for them to actually do that."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.
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