Executive Summary

Sherlynn Aurelio

Tell us a little about yourself

I work as a Master Teacher in an urban public school with one of the highest percentages of students receiving free and reduced lunch in Delaware. My mission is to assist and train staff in how to raise overall achievement in a school where 70% of the teachers are new and we have the lowest assessment scores in the state. I have worked with urban early learning centers to increase kindergarten readiness by building collaborative partnerships between public schools and neighboring centers; sharing instructional strategies, information, and data.

Teacher evaluation is very important. There should be accountability for teachers and the state is working hard to create a fair system.
Sherlynn Aurelio

I have a BS in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and an MA in Instruction and Curriculum. I am National Board Certified in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood. I have been an active participant in the Rodel Foundation's Teacher Network Leadership Institute over the past four years and am an advisor of the Delaware Early Childhood Council. I previously served on the Red Clay School District School Board

How would you improve the process of teacher engagement in the reform efforts?

First of all, teachers shouldn’t be required to do this on their own time without some sort of compensation. Perhaps extra pay or even offering to have lunch provided is a nice gesture.

Opportunities for involvement should occur on professional development days or during the summer rather than during regular school days or after school. If meetings are held after school, it makes for a very long day. Also, as it is now, it’s easier for master teachers and leadership to be involved in these committees because they don’t have to be in the classroom every day. When meetings are held, especially if travel is required, the Department of Education should make it convenient for all teachers to participate.

What do administrators and policymakers need to do to help teachers be more optimistic about the new evaluation system?

Teacher evaluation is very important. There should be accountability for teachers and the state is working hard to create a fair system. I appreciate that the state wasn’t intimidated by the deadline and that they weren’t afraid to ask for more time. The truth is, there will always be non-optimistic people and this is usually because they don’t understand the process. It’s important that policymakers get information out so everyone can understand the complexity of the project and the efforts being made to create a fair system.

How do you feel the new evaluation system will impact the full educational spectrum in your district/state?

For effective teachers, I don’t believe it will affect them at all. Effective teachers, we do our job. The teachers who just show up and don’t put in the extra effort are the ones who will be more concerned and upset.

One thing I would like to see is added support for new teachers to help build up their confidence and work within the profession. Few teachers are highly effective the first year but with support they can learn to improve their craft. There should be another bar than those with experience.

What advice would you give other districts/states as they consider teacher evaluation reform efforts?

With any decision making, you must involve the people who will be directly affected. Even if policy or decision makers have had classroom experience, you need people currently in the classroom to have real buy-in through involvement otherwise it will be looked on something dictated to them. And I don’t mean token involvement. There needs to be a clear connection between teacher recommendations and the outcome.

Also, reform efforts are not a done deal. The state will need to put in place a way to collect input and feedback throughout the process.

The Federal Government and Teacher Evaluation

E-news sign-up