Dennis Hetet, St John’s College, Hamilton
We knew that the Appraisal system we had been using for several years, had serious shortcomings. It was cumbersome and did not reflect the current foci points needed for an appraisal process that was up to date and contemporary. The ‘Appraisal Connector’ system was adopted at the beginning of the second term in 2013. This occurred after discussions with the personnel from lnterLEAD and after references received from other schools, and finally culminating in an address to the whole teaching staff by lnterLEAD. We have had one term using the Appraisal Connector programme and what has impressed us are the following very positive and beneficial aspects:
- There is a focus on self-reflection by the teacher of his/ her teaching practices and this will lead to a selfrecognition of what the teacher is doing well, and what aspects need improving.
- The incorporation in the programme of a ‘Reflective Journal’ means that the teachers can make entries on goals and objectives they want to accomplish. Importantly, these goals can be linked directly to the ‘Registered Teachers’ Criteria’ of the Teachers’ Council.
- The ease of use by doing the programme online, means that there is no paperwork and the frustrations this used to bring with the process.
- A school can individualise to a large extent how it wants the appraisal process organised from self appraisal to appraisal by colleagues, over a period of time.
- There is an ease in adopting this new system by the teachers. Problems have been minimal and have been easily rectified.
- The staff at lnterLEAD have been very helpful and contact is readily available.
- We anticipate that as teachers get used to all the programme offers, they will build up a comprehensive portfolio that will be beneficial to themselves, and which will more than satisfy any agency such as ERO.
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