No one cheers when you announce there will be a staff evaluation soon. There’s no party, no clapping, and certainly no smiles. That’s because there are a lot of myths, misconceptions, and outright lies about the evaluation process. If you want to make the process go smoother, there are a few things can do, starting with explaining what an evaluation is, and addressing those myths.
What Are Daycare Teacher Evaluations?For your staff, it may feel like a chance for you to find out what they’re doing wrong and hold it over their head. That’s not the reason behind a teacher evaluation, however, so it’s best to explain what an evaluation is, why you need to do it, and how it’s going to affect their position at your daycare. An evaluation is a tool to see where your staff and school as a whole are currently at. It also helps you decide how you want to progress, and helps you decide the best way to get there. It’s really that simple. Evaluations are also something you shouldn’t avoid doing, even if it is stressful to both you and your employees.
Daycare Teacher Evaluations are ImportantAn evaluation is a great way to get to know your employees. They aren’t clones, obviously, which is a good thing. By doing an evaluation, you learn the teaching style of your staff. Some teachers may be focused on having fun and doing crafts while others are far more structured. As you have new children come in and kids moving to a higher age classroom, putting them with the right teacher is important. One child may thrive in a room where they get to do messy art projects every day, while it would cause another child to have a meltdown. The teacher with a more structured classroom may be a better fit for a child who learns better when they have a set schedule that is followed every day. Evaluations are also important for learning where a teacher may be struggling and getting them the help they need. If a teacher is great at reading but struggles with discipline, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Give them tips on how to maintain discipline, without being judgmental about it. It will help your staff members grow, as well as helping you to improve your daycare center.
3 Lies About Daycare Staff Evaluations
1. Only certain employees will perform well because they’re the Director’s buddyIt’s been said you get the score you earn, and that should be especially true on a staff evaluation. This fear can be combated by being upfront about what you’re going to evaluate. If your teachers aren’t meeting a certain standard, they should feel comfortable talking to you about it beforehand, so they can improve.
2. All reviews are negativeNo staff evaluation should be all bad. Your staff shouldn’t walk out the door feeling like they can’t do anything right. While Harvard Business Review reports that most people don’t like feedback, your employees should feel like they’re at least doing something correct when they leave your office.
3. Someone is going to get fired, and I think that someone is meThat’s a fear everyone has when it comes time for evaluations. While there may arise a time when this is necessary, it certainly isn’t going to be every time an evaluation takes place.
6 Ways to Make Daycare Evaluations Less Stressful and More Collaborative
- The first step in helping your staff become less stressed out is to explain to them why you’re doing this evaluation. Make it clear that you’re not head-hunting. Then live by what you state. Meet with your staff individually, or have a meeting. An individual meeting might be better, because your staff can ask questions without fear of being judged by their coworkers.
- When you go in the room to begin the evaluation, start with a smile. Then have open body language, and make it look like you’re relaxed. If you come in with a scowl, throw your things down, and are angrily jabbing your tablet, your staff members are going to think they’re doing something wrong even if they’re not.
- When you go over the report, be honest with your employee. State what they did right, and then discuss how they can improve.
- If you want your employees to collaborate with an evaluation, then give them a reason to. When you give them feedback on how to improve, then back them up on it. There’s nothing worse than being told you did something wrong, but when you ask for advice, the person just shrugs and say they don’t know. If you don’t have a solution or advice, perhaps hold off on bringing it up until you do some research.
- Collaboration is crucial to making an evaluation effective, so give your teachers a chance to speak. According to Entrepreneur, you should encourage your employees to speak up. They may have some great ideas that you could incorporate to take your daycare center to the next level.
- Build the relationship. It takes time, but it’s worth it. If your employees know they can trust you, then an evaluation will be less stressful for everyone involved.