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Instructional Evaluation Assignment

Monica Bachtle

Minnesota State University, Mankato


For this assignment I chose to interview Beth Svenby the Principal at Washington

Elementary located in Owatonna, Minnesota. During this interview Charlotte Danielson’s four

domains; planning and preparation, classroom environment, professional responsibilities, and

instruction were addressed. Beth has a consistent way of evaluating her staff and believes that

preparing her staff through pre-evaluation meetings and post-evaluation meetings helps her staff

grow and be successful.

When evaluating staff Beth uses the four domains of the Danielson model to observe and

ensure that teachers are performing and being held to high expectations. She evaluates teachers

using the first domain, planning and preparation, by looking for teachers’ knowledge of the

content, students, and resources. When considering the second domain, classroom environment,

Beth pays attention to the overall environment while also looking for specifics. She mentioned

the number one thing that she looks for is whether or not she feels that the environment promotes

high levels of learning through little distractions throughout the room and classroom

organization. While Beth pays close attention to the way the classroom looks physically she

explained that she also pays the majority of her attention to the relationship that the students and

the teacher share. She stated that the rapport between the students and teacher have a large

impact on the score of this portion of the evaluation.

The third domain, professional responsibilities, is used to look at how well the teacher

presents themselves. Beth believes in strong parent-teacher communication and has high

expectations for professionalism from her teachers. Lastly, teachers are evaluated based on the

last domain, their instruction. When Beth evaluates teachers on this section she is specifically

looking for how engaged students are, the use of discussion and questioning techniques and how

the teacher communicates with their students.


When exploring the different evaluative models that Beth uses when evaluating her staff

she prefers to use action research. To conduct evaluations using action research Beth takes field

notes, distributes surveys and questionnaires, and observes individuals within the classroom or

groups. Beth believes that using action research is great in the field of education because there is

always room for improvement and for teachers to master their craft. She strongly believes that

action research offers teachers the opportunity for continued reflection well beyond their

evaluation. Along with action research evaluation Beth believes that peer evaluation is effective

for helping her staff grow and develop into stronger educators. By providing her staff with a pre-

visit preparatory meeting Beth helps ensure that her staff is aware of her expectations before

evaluating them. This also allows Beth to have an idea of what the teacher will be teaching that

day. Following the pre-evaluation meeting Beth then completes the formal in class evaluation.

Lastly, Beth and the teacher meet for a post-evaluation meeting to discuss strengths, and areas

for improvement.

Overall, I believe that Beth has an evaluating system that is effective and consistent. She

shared with me that keeping her evaluations the same for all staff helps her staff grow and learn

from the evaluations. She also shared the difficulties that come from having a post-evaluation

meeting with staff that may have not performed during their formal observation to the high

expectations that she set for them and explains during the pre-evaluation meetings. She

expressed that having difficult conversations is part of the evaluation process and that without

them she is not doing her job as a leader.

Beth explained that as a leader having the difficult conversations with staff after

evaluations that do not go as well helps keep the best interest of her students at the forefront and

in the end the critical feedback helps her staff grow. Showing consistent support to her staff and

providing them with the tools that they need to improve and grow are always her top priority. I

believe that Beth’s philosophy keeps the best interest of both staff and students a top priority and

helps create a culture in her school that enables to students to learn at high levels.