Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Designing an Effective Music Teacher Evaluation System (Part Two)

Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Designing an Effective Music Teacher Evaluation System (Part Two)

Article excerpt

Proposed Music Teacher Evaluation System

This evaluation system is designed to conduct summative evaluations of teacher performance. The purpose of the evaluation is to provide useful information and feedback to the teacher and his/her supervisor on areas where the teacher is doing well, and areas to improve, as well as to provide direction to administrators on staff development practices. Additionally, it is designed to assess whether or not teachers are meeting the teaching standards as outlined below, and to recognize and reinforce outstanding service.

An inclusive approach that offers several viewpoints on the teacher's performance will be implemented through the use of multiple data sources, which are an effective way to obtain the most accurate picture of performance. Essentially, the use of multiple data sources will: enhance the validity of the performance measurement, as accuracy is enhanced by using several different sources; increase reliability of results by looking at a more complete picture than that provided by just one or two classroom observations; and, increase the comfort level of both the evaluator and the teacher, as they can feel more confident that the assessment is more accurate and complete.


Teaching will be assessed in five domains and by the teaching standards as outlined by the Ontario Government: commitment to pupils and pupil learning; professional knowledge; teaching practice; leadership and community; and ongoing professional learning (Ministry of Education, 2010). Input from teachers, parents, students, trustees, and school administrators will be considered in forming an overall definition, philosophy or mission statement of teaching at the individual school level.

Levels of performance

The system uses five levels of performance for all teachers: unsatisfactory, below average, satisfactory, above average, and exceptional. The exceptional category is reserved and utilized only when a teacher has outperformed the description in the above average category. It would not be realistic for a teacher to be ranked exceptional on the majority of the standards, otherwise the ranking will lose its true meaning. Descriptions will be provided for all of the standards in each domain, and there will be two sets of descriptions for levels of performance for each standard which will be based on experience: one set for new teachers (those in their first three years of teaching); and a second set for all other teachers. (Descriptions for all of the levels are beyond the scope of this article).


Evaluations will be comprised of three parts. Part one will include a classroom observation that is conducted by an evaluator, and the results will be discussed with the teacher. Part two will be teacher-assembled portfolios evaluated by the evaluation co-ordinator. For part three teachers will be given a choice about what data sources they may include in their evaluation from a list of the options provided, including for example, student surveys in order to assemble their log of teaching practice (Appendices F & G, Ministry of Education, 2010). Teachers may select all sources of data, or only one or two. These three components of the evaluation will be given equal weight. Once all the data sources have been collected, the evaluation co-ordinator will have the responsibility for analyzing them and providing and presenting the complete evaluation to the teacher.

Score combining

For each of the five domains the evaluation co-ordinator will determine an overall domain ranking based on the majority of rankings in each domain. The domains will not be combined to form one overall score or description.

Frequency of evaluations

Teachers who are in their first three years of teaching will be evaluated for each of these years. Teachers will not be expected to develop a portfolio until their third year of teaching. This will allow them the additional time in their first years of teaching to become comfortable in their role as a teacher. …

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