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Getting ready for teacher evaluations can be scary regardless of your experience. And for special education teachers this can be even worse because people don't always understand what they do. Here are some tips of what to prepare to share with the observers to help it be a success.

How to Better Prepare for Your Special Education Teaching Evaluation

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In the last post I talked about being proactive in the teaching evaluation process by your principal and how to set yourself up for success. This post focuses on how to prepare for the observation.  I’m focusing on what materials to point out and have ready to make yourself stand out.  Having these materials will help the principal understand the thought process behind your classroom schedule and procedures.

Materials to Support YOUR Evaluation

Getting ready for teacher evaluations can be scary regardless of your experience. And for special education teachers this can be even worse because people don't always understand what they do. Here are some tips of what to prepare to share with the observers to help it be a success.In addition to information you can share prior to your evaluation, there is some information that it pays to point out to the principal before or when he or she does the observation.  Often these can be posted on a bulletin board for easy reference, but you may need to explain them to some degree.  If it makes you more comfortable you might want to bring them to your initial meeting and offer them to the principal.  While principals might know to look for schedules and work product, they might not know what a teaching plan is or why your schedule is set up the way it is.  However, those materials support your instruction and demonstrate the thought and pedagogy you have put into your program.  So don’t let them go unnoticed.  Things you might point out include:

  • Your schedule for the whole class, which is often posted on your bulletin board.  Share why parts of the day are set up the way they are and the rationale behind the decisions you made in the schedule.
  • Your classroom vision statement.  I have started to use classroom vision statements as a way to demonstrate the goals and vision for the classroom.  This can help your principal recognize the intended outcome of your class.

Classroom vision statements are a fundamental part of my building classroom teams bundle. Getting ready for teacher evaluations can be scary regardless of your experience. And for special education teachers this can be even worse because people don't always understand what they do. Here are some tips of what to prepare to share with the observers to help it be a success.

  • Your zoning plan is a great thing to share. It helps the observer see how you manage and supervise staff as well as the decisions you make about how to utilize staff.  It also is a great tool to help them decide whether you need more staff or not.
  • Teaching Intervention Plans for the students are also a great tool to share with administrators. They show how you have planned out the students’ IEP needs into your classroom.
  • Your lesson plans are critical to share with the observer.  I know many of you think you don’t need lesson plans with all the other stuff, but lesson plans show an observer how your day progresses.  Check out this post for ideas and templates for lesson planning that can be easy to keep up with once they are established.

Lesson Planning in the Autism Classroom: How to Make it a Success

  • Make sure you show the principal your data binder or student program book.  If you are taking data and using it to plan instruction, you definitely want to make sure your get credit for it in your observation.
  • Finally use your bulletin boards to showcase students’ work and show off things like your schedule and zoning plan.  Consider typing up the standard that the work you are showcasing relates to.  This helps the observer see a clear connection between them, even if your lesson they observe doesn’t quite go as planned.

Develop Portfolio for Easy Reference

You might also think about developing a portfolio of your work over time. It helps for interviewing for new jobs and also introducing yourself to new administrators to your old job.   You can download a free checklist for portfolios as this blog post:

Talking About Your Experience: Talking the Talk About Your Walk {freebie!}

Need help establishing those rationales and thinking them through with the schedule, creating teaching plans, or helping with managing staff?  You may want to check out my Special Education Classroom Toolkits.

The Special Education Classroom Startup Toolkit: Teaching Plans and Schedule

A Toolkit to Help You Build Classroom Teams and Schedule Staff

Until next time,

Autism Classroom Resources

3 thoughts on “How to Better Prepare for Your Special Education Teaching Evaluation”

  1. I like that you suggest to have a lesson plan for your evaluation. I think that this would help the person giving the evaluation to follow you are doing and what you plan on doing next. It might be helpful to print this out, which would allow them to take notes on it. Then, after the lesson, you could discuss each section and ask for feedback.

  2. chris@reeveautismconsulting.com

    I totally agree–having the lesson plans out and having the administrator know what they are looking at and using it for problem solving later is an amazing idea!! Tahnks!

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