JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-The Arkansas Board of Education has approved a new evaluation system for all Arkansas teachers that will begin this fall.
Teachers will be evaluated in these areas: preparation and planning, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities. Darlene Richmond has been teaching for 34 years and said she'll now have to go a little deeper when planning her lessons.
"You can kind of get in a rut when you have taught as much as I have and now with this [system], it kind of brings things back to the front," she said.
The highest rating a teacher can receive is distinguished and the lowest is unsatisfactory.If a teacher is rated unsatisfactory, they will be placed in "intensive support status" and given an improvement plan. If the teacher fails to accomplish the goals outlined in the plan, the school superintendent will recommend termination or non-renewal of the teacher's contract.
"It makes our teachers more self-conscious, more aware of what is expected of us," Richmond said.
In the new evaluation system, the principal or vice principal will begin with a professional growth plan that focuses on a teacher's interests. Then the administrator will have a pre-conference with the teacher followed by an observation then a post-conference.
Nettleton Junior High School Principal Grace Mcelrath said this new system is more thorough and will allow them to monitor a teacher's growth.
"One of the things we want to see across the state is more a consistent evaluation system," she said.