Thinking Twice: Redefining the Collaborative Relationship Between K-12 Schools, Teacher Preparation Programs, Student Teachers, and the New Teacher Evaluation System
Drs. Kimberly Arsenault and Laura Pardo
According to Michigan State legislation, student growth and assessment data will comprise a percentage of the annual teacher evaluation beginning with 25% in the 2013-2014 school year and increasing to 50% by the 2015-2016 school year. Due to these changes in the teacher evaluation system in Michigan, teachers and administrators are increasingly concerned about how to show quantifiable evidence of student growth. This study explored the potential and perceived impact the new teacher evaluation system may have on Michigan teachers. It also investigated a correlating impact on teacher willingness to mentor a student teacher completing their pre-service training in a teacher preparation program. Through the analysis of surveys completed by 172 K-12 local teachers in multiple West Michigan schools, as well as a follow-up survey completed by 108 teachers in the same sample, trends in reactions and implications emerged. Coding revealed fragmented understanding of the new teacher evaluation system among those surveyed, possibly indicating varied levels in the implementation of the state legislation. Second, although many teachers expressed willingness to give back to the teaching community by mentoring a pre-service teacher, they voiced hesitancy to transfer control of content delivery and student growth completely to a student teacher. The findings of this study suggest that further research is needed to explore alternative mentor-teacher/student-teacher relationships in response to the challenges posed by the new teacher evaluation system.
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