Answers ( 2 )

  1. The best way to gather artifacts is for the teacher or person being evaluated to submit the artifacts for review. This makes the process a “shared” experience and allows the evaluator and person being evaluated to be actively participating in the process.

    The evaluator then could rate and give feedback on the artifacts submitted.

  2. Select relevant artifacts, and remember that “less is more” when it comes to this process. As someone who has sat with principals as they finalized evaluations, I know artifact reviews often take place at the end of the year-long evaluation process and in big batches. Thus, an evaluator is usually looking at many artifacts across multiple staff members. Keeping that in mind, here are a few tips for a staff member uploading artifacts:

    1. TITLE the artifact and indicate clearly what it shows about your work relevant to the evaluation rubric.

    2. Select just a few strong representative samples of the body of work for the year that you are trying to evidence.
    -For example, many teachers want to show they build relationships with families of students. Rather than including EVERY parent newsletter or communication you’ve sent, include ONE good one, and in the text of the artifact “tag,” mention that you send something like this WEEKLY, or quarterly, or periodically to keep families up to date.
    -The same is true of lesson planning. Unless required, don’t upload every unit plan. Select ONE good one. Say it is representative of the detailed work you do in planning, and list a few things that are strengths—e.g. tied to essential questions and core standards, details engaging student activities, employs rich content resources, has a strong summative assessment and formative benchmark assessments.

    3. Don’t turn teacher evaluation into “Pinterest” for our work. Artifacts shouldn’t be a scrapbook of your year with students. In my district, we encouraged teachers to limit artifacts and not to feel obligated to include them unless they were asked to provide evidence of something or saw that it was late in the year, and there was no evidence in some areas of their rubric. I’d recommend limiting yourself to 3-5 strong pieces of evidence—perhaps 1 each for what you believe are the “power standards” of your rubric domains. For example, if Domain 3 on your rubric is about Teacher Leadership, choose one thing that speaks to your leadership this year, and perhaps list a few others in the artifact description for this piece of evidence.

    4. Consider what item might add to what an observer has seen of your practice in a classroom observation. If that is a piece of student work or an assignment that is representative of the quality of what you ask of students, include that ONE picture, short video clip, or document, and a 2-3 sentence summary about your focus on meaningful assignments, for example.

    5. Still photographs are rarely high-quality artifacts. A picture of a student in costume or next to a poster board project, for example, doesn’t tell an evaluator very much (except that you document your year in photos). If you include a photo, caption the artifact with a few sentences that explain why this visual gives evidence of your practice in an important way. NOTE: This should be more than, “The kids really loved our bread baking project!” Remember that an evaluator is looking at the quality of your professional practice. A better explanation might be, “I try to build an active sensory experience into every unit. For example, when we studied X, student did Y. When we studied P, students did Q. As the photo shows, when we studied chemical reactions, they grew sourdough yeast and then baked bread to understand the chemical process behind how bread rises. These Kinds of activities are important to me because they help students remember and connect the concepts we’re learning.”

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