A Network Connecting School Leaders From Around The Globe
Carol Ann Tomlinson on What Evaluation Should Be
(Originally titled “The Evaluation of My Dreams”)
In this Educational Leadership article, differentiation guru Carol Ann Tomlinson describes her “dream evaluator” – an administrator who would push everyone toward excellence by:
• Communicating a vision of the potential power of teaching – “It’s easier to muster the courage to change when that change is in service of labor that seems meaningful and important,” says Tomlinson.
• Mentoring – This requires knowing a lot about each teacher, knowing the content area, and caring.
• Visiting classrooms frequently – This is essential to having a multidimensional sense of what teachers are doing and how they’re doing.
• Communicating feedback clearly and respectfully – Compliments on strengths and progress are an important component of feedback.
• Pointing out areas for growth – All teachers need a specific, descriptive roadmap of next steps on where and how to become more effective.
• Being timely – Prompt feedback reduces anxiety and is important to fixing problems before the summative evaluation.
• Listening and building autonomy – “My ideal evaluator would help me construct my own options for how I might use feedback to move forward as a professional, rather than dictate next steps,” says Tomlinson. “At the same time, he or she would provide concrete support for my continuing growth. I’m not always my own best teacher; like all workers, I need structures, guidance, and coaching that are appropriate to my development.”
“The Evaluation of My Dreams” by Carol Ann Tomlinson in Educational Leadership, November 2012 (Vol. 70, #3, p. 88-89), www.ascd.org; Tomlinson can be reached at
From the Marshall Memo #460
© 2023 Created by William Brennan and Michael Keany Powered by