May 13, 2022
We all have a bad day every once in a while. When that happens on the day of an evaluation or observation, though, it can have serious consequences. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world, or the end of your career.
Here are some tips to help you recover.
REACT…IN PRIVATE Most of us know if our performance didn’t go well, especially if we are being observed. First instinct is usually an emotional one. This is not the time to respond, though. Sit down and have a good cry, get in a good workout or whatever you need to do to let off steam. Talk to a mentor or close friend to vent or seek advice. Then sleep on it. Once you’ve had a chance to get the emotions under control. Take the next step.
REFLECT AND WRITE Unless something went catastrophically wrong, wait for feedback from your supervisor, sometimes they can see where you were going if you have all the steps in place, even without the desired outcome, and it may not be as bad as you think. Whether you’ve gotten feedback or you are getting ahead of it, use your rubric for your evaluation and go through each step making notes on what you did and what you missed. Remember, it is what they can see and prove, not what you intended, so keep it based on facts. With this information, you can see where you stand and what needs done to hit your mark. Be sure to prepare questions you have and think and write down very clearly what you would like to do next.
SCHEDULE A MEETING Set up a time to speak to them and tell them what it’s about. It’s best to give them at least 24 hours or more, or let them choose the time. This is not a subject to bring up in the hallway or at duty, and they need time to review and gather notes, as well since they have several people they are responsible for. At the meeting, listen and take notes. Be patient and let them speak. Write down questions and corrections and bring them up after. Chances are, they will answer many questions and give feedback on how to improve.
ASK FOR A REDO Before you leave the meeting, ask what you can do now to improve the outcome. You may get a chance to redo it, you may only get a chance to revise the written portion, or you may not have an option and will just need to do better on the next observation.
ASK HOW THIS WILL IMPACT Be sure to ask how this will impact your job security, promotion, or overall rating so you are prepared, especially if you aren’t able to redo any aspects of it. One bad evaluation isn’t the end of the world, and, if it is truly an area of struggle, it can only benefit you. If you are pursuing an out of classroom position soon, be sure to discuss the timeline and how this will impact you since many want Effective and Highly Effective ratings for at least 3 consecutive years prior to be considered in the pool.
THE OUTLIER The best thing you can do is make sure that this negative situation is a one time event. If you have been completing all your duties and responsibilities and don’t have any other demerits against you, this will be an outlier and a supervisor will not only see that, they will do what they can to keep you in your job.
If you feel there were other factors or this is unfair, pursue it above the chain of command. But do so with facts and documentation, not with accusations and emotion.
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