Performance Appraisal of Beginner Teachers’ Competency Skills

By Hu Wo (Cuckoo’s Song)


The term `performance appraisal´ is defined as the process in which a headmaster or an educator evaluates a teacher’s work be­haviours by measurement and comparison with previously established standards, records the results and communicates them to the teacher. Hence, this appraisal can be said to be one of the most important tools for staff management and administration accessible to the headmaster or educator. Performance apprais­al is rational and systematic, and the information received through it contributes to good foundations useful for develop­ing, recruiting, and selecting new teachers, training and improving existing teachers, and motivating and maintaining quality work by adequately rewarding their per­formance, focusing on a develop­mental orientation.


Teacher performance ap­praisal

Teacher performance ap­praisal for newcomers to educa­tion must be centred on at least eight competencies. Teachers 1) demonstrate commitment to the well-being and development of all students; 2) have dedicat­ed their efforts to teaching and supporting student learning and achievement; 3) treat all students equitably with mutual respect; 4) create a learning environment that encourages students to be problem solvers, decision-mak­ers, lifelong learners and helpful members of a changing society; 5) know their subject matter, curriculum, and educational leg­islation inside out; 6) use their professional knowledge and un­derstanding of students, teaching practices and classroom control strategies to promote the study and accomplishment of students; 7) communicate effectively and efficiently with students, parents and colleagues; and 8) conduct ongoing assessment of students’ progress. The purposes of TPA should be to access amateur teachers’ knowledge, skills and attitudes, to identify strengths and areas for educational growth, to plan the next steps towards the advancement of education, to enhance schools as learning communities where new teach­ers are given many opportunities to engage in collective inquiry that offers educational expan­sion continuity, and to establish a framework to make increased effort aimed at upholding stu­dents’ success in education.


Qualifications of a teacher

Before TPA, the qualities and qualifications of a teacher will need to be described, I think. The teacher’s personal good at­tributes can bring about the ed­ucational product development, that is, qualified students. The teacher qualities include 1) en­thusiasm and optimism – inter­est in work, alertness, humour, cheerfulness and affability, 2) initiative and resourcefulness – the ability to originate, adapt ideas and carry them out with the subject to teach, 3) interest in and sympathy with students – a sympathetic understanding and interest in pupils, extending beyond the subject to teach, 4) personal habits – being morally obliged to set a worthy example, 5) sincerity and integrity – being measured in terms of a teacher’s behaviour, 6) adapting leader­ship – the ability to adapt the leadership to the teaching-learn­ing situation, and 7) responsi­bility broader than classroom control – the ideals and habits a teacher seeks to instill. Also, teachers must possess three qualifications: 1) an academ­ic qualification – the mastery of subject matter, 2) a profes­sional qualification – the art of imparting knowledge, skill and attitude towards students, and 3) an attitudinal qualification – the right attitude to the society. Only when a teacher has gained the above-mentioned qualities and qualifications in advance will he be able to do his duties and responsibilities happily and satisfactorily.


Four main categories

On top of that, ten stand­ards are considered to apply to all teachers regardless of their teaching level or subject matter area, developed by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) in the United States, into four main categories: 1) principles – the basic laws and assump­tions underlying good teaching for starters, 2) knowledge – the major concepts, assumptions, and ways of knowing that be­ginner teachers will need to support the principles, 3) dis­positions – the temperament or tendency for a beginner teacher to believe, think or act in one way as opposed to another, and 4) performance – the actual de­cisions and teaching behaviours that beginner teachers have to embody the principles in their practice at acceptable levels. If the ten INTASC core stand­ards for beginner teachers, the teacher understands and uses 1) the central concepts, tools of in­quiry, and structure of disciplines he teaches and the creation of learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students, 2) how students learn and develop, and can be provided learning oppor­tunities that support their intel­lectual, social, and personal de­velopment, 3) how students differ in their approaches to learning and are created instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners, 4) a variety of instructional strategies to en­courage students’ development of critical thinking, problem solv­ing and performance skills, 5) individual and group motivations or behaviours to create a learn­ing environment that promotes positive social interaction, ac­tive engagement in learning, and self-motivation, 6) knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, me­dia communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collabora­tion, and supportive interaction in the classroom, 7) the instruc­tion based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community and curricular goals, 8) formal and informal assess­ment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuously intellec­tual, social and physical improve­ment of students, 9) reflectively evaluating the effects of choices and actions on students, parents and other professionals in the learning community and actively seeking out opportunities to grow professionally, and 10) relation­ships with school colleagues, par­ents and agencies in the larger community to carry students’ learning and well-being.


Professional practice

The components of profes­sional practice are categorized into four domains: 1) planning and preparation, 2) the classroom en­vironment, 3) instruction, and 4) professional responsibilities. The first domain involves i) demon­strating knowledge of content, prerequisite relationships, con­tent-related pedagogy, character­istics of an age group, students’ carried approaches to learning, skill and knowledge, interests and cultural heritage, resourc­es for teaching and students, ii) selecting instructional goals with their value, suitability for diverse learners, balance, clarity, iii) designing coherent instruction with learning activities, instruc­tional materials, resources and groups, lesson and unit struc­ture, and iv) assessing student learning with the congruence with instructional goals, criteria and standards, use of planning. The second domain contains i) creating an environment with teacher-student and student-stu­dent interaction, ii) establishing a culture of learning with the importance of content, student pride in work, expectations for learning and achievement, iii) monitoring classroom proce­dures with the management of instructional groups, transitions, materials and supplies, perfor­mance of non-instructional du­ties, supervision of volunteers and paraprofessionals, iv) man­aging student behaviour with ex­pectations, response, and v) or­ganizing physical space with the safety and arrangement of furni­ture, accessibility to learning and use of physical resources. The third domain covers i) commu­nicating direction, procedures, oral and written language clearly and accurately, ii) using quality questioning and discussion tech­niques, iii) engaging students in learning with the representation of content and assignment col­leagues, grouping of student pro­jects, instructional materials and resources, structure and pacing, iv) providing accurate, substan­tive, constructive, specific feed­back and timeliness to students, and v) demonstrating lesson ad­justment, persistence. The fourth domain consists of i) reflecting on teaching with the accuracy and use of future teaching, ii) maintaining student completion of assignments, progressive in learning, non-instructional re­cords, iii) communicating the information about individual students and engagement in instructional programmes with families, iv) contributing rela­tionships with activities, service to the school, participation in schools and districts, v) growing and developing professionally with the enhancement of content, pedagogical knowledge and skill, service to the profession, and vi) showing professionally with service to the students, advocacy, decision making.


Checklist for teachers

Therefore, a sample check­list for teachers can be carried out in terms of thirteen points: 1) demonstrating knowledge of content and pedagogy as in `The teacher is able to apply his subject to real-world setting´, 2) demonstrating knowledge of students as in `The teacher displays knowledge of the inter­ests of each student´, 3) selecting instructional goals as in `The teacher articulates how goals relate to curriculum frameworks and standards´, 4) demonstrat­ing knowledge of resources as in `The teacher displays an aware­ness of resources through the school or community´, 5) de­signing coherent instruction as in `The teacher is able to use time wisely and effectively´, 6) communicating clearly and ac­curately as in `The teacher’s directions and procedures are clear to students and anticipate possible student misunderstand­ing´, 7) using questioning and discussion techniques as in `The teacher’s questions are of uni­formly high quality with adequate time for students to respond´, 8) engaging students in learn­ing as in `Pacing of the lesson is appropriate for all students´, 9) providing feedback to students as in `Feedback is consistently provided in a timely manner´, 10) demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness as in `The teacher seizes an opportunity to enhance learning through accommodating students’ ques­tions or interests´, 11) creating the classroom environment as in `The teacher responds to stu­dent misbehaviour appropriately and correctly´, 12) assessing stu­dent learning as in `The teacher uses assessment results to plan for the class as a whole´, and 13) professional responsibilities as in `The teacher reflects on his teaching´.


In actual fact, teacher per­formance appraisal is essential to develop teachers at all levels of the education system and to upgrade the achievement stand­ard for students.


This appraisal is a sort of formal evaluation by which headmasters or educators can manage to point out whether a teacher’s performance meets the required standards of the position at which he arrives in the present. What is more, the performance appraisal of begin­ner teachers’ competency skills will help them agree and review their priorities, individual goals, or professional needs.