What Does My Marzano Evaluation Mean?

Like them or not, teacher evaluation systems are here. As a new alternatively certified teacher, I like having someone in my classroom observing me,  offering feedback on what I’m doing, and making suggestions for how I can improve. My principal last year observed me once, using the Tulsa Evaluation System, told me that I’d scored well (as I reviewed the evaluation form) and said he’d get me a copy. He never did.

In contrast, my principal this year has conducted a pre-evaluation interview/discussion with me before both my evaluations, along with post-evaluation conference. He has been open to questions and made lots of suggestions. He has also visited my room for both formal and information evaluations. I have been very happy with the way my principal has handled this situation.

I am still a bit confused though.

My school is using the Marzano Causal Teacher Evaluation Model, which is new to both teachers and principles.

This system uses 9 domains, 40 sub-domains and more than 100 indicators. Since this is our first year, our leaders chose to evaluate just two domains (11 sub-domains) in the fall and 22 sub-domains from just 3 domains in the spring.

The principals learned from district administration, and then told us that on this scale, developing is considered the same as satisfactory on the old system my school used. But this didn’t make sense to some of us. Developing sounds like you are trying to do what you’re supposed to, but you’re not there yet. The next level, applying sounds like you know what you’re doing.

The principals told us that most teachers would score in the 3.0, or developing range, and that no one (not even them) would score in the 5.0 (Innovating) range. I guess, even if you are an exemplary teacher, who uses all the techniques favored by Marzano, you’re still not getting a 5. Too bad.

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I improved my scores from Beginning to Developing or Applying in three areas and only scored one Beginning in a new area in the second evaluation. My principal and I are both confused because mathematically, my score of 3.0 from the first evaluation should have increased.

That said, my review of the results indicated that each domain is weighted — and the weights changed from one evaluation to the next. I’m an English teacher, not a math teacher, so someone else will have to figure that out…

About the author 

Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education and co-Editor of the Oklahoma English Journal. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify students' voices and choices.

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