Throughout this school year, the Denver Post is reporting the experiences and views of four Colorado teachers as their districts fully roll out the new educator evaluation requirements for the first time. Each district is taking a slightly different approach; some have adopted the state model and some have created their own systems.
Denver Public Schools has opted to use their own evaluation system called LEAP (Leading Effective Academic Practice). Zachary Rowe, a teacher in the district, told the paper that “the biggest challenge is shifting the culture we have in teaching around evaluation from one that is focused on what it used to be, which was finding bad teachers, to what LEAP is, which is finding good teachers and helping them improve…That’s a huge culture shift.”
Terace Viney, a middle school teacher in Greeley, said the evaluation system was “overwhelming” at first but now she’s accustomed to it. “I want to be [rated] advanced, that’s my goal,” she said. “That’s how I’ve been all my life. I know I’m proficient. The hard part, to be advanced, you have to get all your students on board.” Another teacher noted that a strong, trusting relationship between principals and teachers will also be critical.