Process: The Personal Development Plan and Performance Appraisal
The appraisal of a teacher’s performance is initiated at the start of each school year by agreeing on 3-4 results to be achieved by the teacher during the semester in connection with work assignments. These may be based on a review of their Personal Development Plan and Performance Appraisal from the previous year. Agreed results are included in a Personal Development Plan and may address aspects such as:
- The teacher’s need to improve performance in identified areas of work.
- The need to develop competencies for promotion and career.
- New or expanded job requirements.
The Personal Development Plan is based on confidential dialogue between the teacher and the teacher’s immediate supervisor. The immediate supervisor will usually be the school leader or deputy/vice school leader. In large schools, a senior teacher may be assigned with the task.
The Personal Development Plan cannot capture all needs for improvement. These must be prioritised in the Plan. However, a teacher will be expected to try to enhance performance in all areas where the appraisal identifies a need.
It is important to be aware that in many cases performance can be improved or developed without costly training through:
- More effective ways of working
- Better materials, tools and work environment to support quality teaching
- Improved school leadership.
Nevertheless, the Personal Development Plan is the main tool for recording needs and wishes for CPD. These may partly be based on the previous year’s performance appraisal but may equally be based on the teacher’s own wish to develop his or her competencies. CPD does not automatically mean more costly training. It may equally be fulfilled through:
- Mentoring and guidance
- Self-directed learning through on-line and other sources
- Team-learning and training organised within the school using the school’s own competency resource base.
The Personal Development Plan provides a good opportunity to discuss and initiate such alternative solutions.
The dialogue between teacher and supervisor is also a good opportunity to discuss the teacher’s career aspirations and wishes for personal development. This can become the foundation of a systematic career development plan to be realised over time.
It is also essential during this dialogue to discuss the wellbeing and job satisfaction of the teacher and to discuss and initiate means of improvement. This can be supplemented by occasional job satisfactions surveys.
At the beginning of each second semester the supervisor should conduct a mid-term review of the teacher’s progress in achieving the planned objectives and determine possible ways to ensure they will be met by the end of the school year.
At the end of the semester, the teacher should conduct a self-assessment of his or her Personal Development Plan followed by a joint review with the supervisor.
The above considerations of improvements to teaching, CPD, career aspirations, wellbeing and job satisfaction points to the importance of continuity in performance appraisal. Each annual appraisal is followed up during the next appraisal.
Download Performance Appraisal form.
SYSTEM UNDER DEVELOPMENT
Please refer to Teacher Performance Management Plan for Sierra Leone, Dr. Simone Doctors, 2018.