Today I hit SEND on the final versions of our new report cards. This means our three-, four-, and five-year-old programs are streamlined for the first time during my tenure. One thing I tried to keep in mind while developing our new syllabi, assessments, and report cards is that they need to make sense to whoever picks them up. As someone who has led several volunteer organizations before, I know that people create systems that they think are the best. But, if they leave without explaining them to anyone, then they are doomed to fail. These documents all use a progressive, simple language that I hope is straightforward. Now we’re moving toward addressing another problem we faced last year: Feedback.
I work at a very small early learning center. We employ between 20 and 25 people at any given time to run the entirety of our operations. That said, our executive director plays the role of accountant, fundraiser, program coordinator, and everything in between. While she has some early ed experience, she has been very hands-off with our kindergarten program since she arrived last year. This is nice because it gives us the autonomy to develop our ideal program. But, at the same time, we are relatively young teachers seeking some guidance. This coming year we are hoping to do more peer-based observations, and provide each other meaningful feedback on how we can improve our practice.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been casually exploring different evaluation tools, but I’m wondering if there’s anything great that anyone else uses effectively or has seen used effectively in a school or district. In the coming weeks we plan to look at different tools and select the one that’s best for us to use amongst ourselves!