Walk-throughs & Evaluations

VEA recognizes that teachers and other educators value and appreciate timely feedback on their teaching practice. We are in support of the Superintendent’s directive that school site administrators should be visible on their campuses and should be visiting classrooms daily.

As VEA and the District works to develop a working agreement on walk-throughs and the District’s re-opener on Article 11: Evaluations, unit members should be mindful of the following:

Administrators can come into any classroom at any time to do an “informal” observation/walk through. They can take notes. However, these walkthroughs cannot be used for evaluative purposes. I am suggesting members do two things.

First, members should politely approach the administrator and request that a copy of the notes be placed in their mailboxes. If they are told “no,” then members should put their request in writing and ask for a response in writing.

Second, when the administrator leaves, members should briefly document the visit – what was the teacher and/or students doing, date, who was the visitor, etc.

If administrators are making the claim that these walk-throughs are non-evaluative, then the only way to make sure of this is for unit members to protect their contractual rights and be assertive in asking for their documentation. If they refuse and members document on their own and anything relating to a walk-through turns up on an evaluation, this may invalidate the evaluation.

Contractual Language on Observations:
11.2.5 Observations
If an observation, either formal or informal, is to be used as a basis for a final evaluation, it shall be in accordance with the following provisions. A formal observation is defined as a classroom observation preceded by at least 24 hours notice to the unit member. All observations shall be documented on the Observation Form. (This can be found in the back of the contract.) Classroom observations shall be a minimum of twenty (20) consecutive minutes. A post-observation conference will be held within four working days of each observation. The post-observation conference may be postponed by mutual agreement. Each written observation report shall be based on at least one classroom observation by the evaluator. The observation report may include self-evaluation by the unit member. All observation report(s) shall be attached to the final evaluation.

An informal evaluation is defined as a classroom observation which complies with all of the provisions of this section except