Saturday, June 7, 2014

More Than a Number

I recently had my rubric review with my principal.  That's the meeting where you sit down to discuss, and reflect on your performance and growth, in relation to the goals that you set at the beginning of the year. You then apply all of that to the Danielson rubric, and based on a numeric formula you have a score out of 60. I personally think it is an interesting process, on the one hand you have the potential to encourage greater self-reflection, engage in meaningful conversations with your building leader, and ultimately focus on professional growth. I feel there is one huge obstacle however, and that is "the score".

I can't help but wonder what this process would be like if there wasn't a score tied to it. Would there be a way to use this reflection process to improve climate? What if in addition to sitting down with our building leader, we sat down with our colleagues, and reflected collectively on what we have done and what we are doing? What if we identified our strengths as a building, and our weaknesses? What if this process brought us together, rather than isolating us? What if we collectively refused to be defined by a number? We are professionals; we do important work every single day and this must be our focus. I think a lot of good can come from the process in general, but we have to move beyond the numbers.

I would love to get your thinking on this. How is this working in your building or district? What are the strengths or benefits you have seen? What areas do you think need improvement? I appreciate you taking the time to read and contribute your thoughts on this.


  1. Yes, performance review is indeed an important opportunity for learning and self reflection, inspiration and growth that gets truncated, when reduced to a number.
    This is no less true, I believe, wirht respect to student grades. Perhaps a new approach to assessment might be considered more broadly- in relation to students and teachers- to shift from a judgement model to a coaching, guiding model, in which the individual being assessed ( teacher or student) participates actively in the assessment- by reflecting deeply on what worked, what didn't and what might be done differently to improve in the future. And this can indeed be both an individual and collective endeavor.

  2. Lori, I agree. As I was writing this I was most definitely thinking about assessment and how this plays out with students.My own thinking on both grading and assessment has changed over the course of my career. Thanks for sharing!