Those teachers who are not covered by the new system for teacher evaluation and support that was launched in fall 2013 will continue to be evaluated the same way as in previous years, under the teacher evaluation plan outlined in the UFT's latest contract and spelled out in the document “Teaching for the 21st Century.”
Teachers who are unsure whether they are covered by the new system may check the list of who is covered on the union's resource page on the new evaluation system.
For those teachers still under the previous plan that was incorporated into the UFT's latest contract:
- Tenured teachers, in consultation with their supervisors, may choose either the “performance option” or the traditional classroom observation as the basis for their performance review.
- New and probationary teachers at all levels should expect to have formal, traditional classroom observations several times a year.
Teachers who think they are being observed excessively should keep a log of the visits and speak to their chapter leaders.
A formal observation is one which includes pre- and post-observation conferences and written feedback or comments. A supervisor has the right to enter a teacher’s class unannounced. However, such informal visits generally are not written up. If your supervisor writes up such an informal observation and if it is negative in nature, you should ask in writing for a post-observation conference with the supervisor.
A pre-conference may be:
- one-to-one conferences between the supervisor and teacher;
- small group meetings; or
- a written notification outlining a menu of possible instructional areas to be evaluated during the formal observation, with teacher input on the area(s) to be addressed.
One-to-one conferences are required for all formal observations of probationary teachers or U-rated teachers.
Tenured teachers who have been rated satisfactory are entitled to an individual pre-observation conference if they request it in writing. The UFT recommends that all teachers make such a request at the beginning of each school year. A written request for a one-to-one conference must be granted (see Chief Executive Memorandum # 80, 1997-98). If your written request is denied, you may grieve under Article 8J and Article 20 of the teachers’ contract.
Following the observation, you should write down your recollections of the lesson, which will be helpful to you in the post-observation conference with your supervisor.
You will receive a written report of the observation after the post-observation conference and will be asked to sign it to indicate that you have seen it, whether or not you agree with it. If you believe the observation was improper, you should speak to your chapter leader, who can help you formulate a written response and advise you of the other options open to you. Your response must be attached to the original report and placed with the original in your file.