Ready, Set...Let's Start Again! - Buckeye Community Hope Foundation

Ready, Set…Let’s Start Again!

By Mindy Farry, School Improvement Representative

It seems as if schools are always either opening up or closing down. Contrary to popular belief, most teachers and especially school leaders do not get a restful two-months to lounge by the pool and relax in the warm, summer sun. School leaders know that this is just the tip of the beginning of the new school year.

Of course, there is still hiring to be done, but once the staff is mostly securely in place, school leaders have a great deal on their minds. This is a perfect time of year to accomplish two very important tasks: engaging teachers in self-reflection and onboarding new staff.

Before teachers can begin to self-reflect, school leaders need to take a close look at the coaching, mentoring, and evaluation of teachers. What has worked? What did not? What elements of the process slipped through the cracks? Do you feel as if your teachers are partners in the evaluation process or merely the receivers of information and ratings? Encouraging teachers to be their own advocates and to engage in the evaluation process is the first step in developing a sense of teacher agency.

During the summer months, everyone can breathe a little easier, and it is an ideal time to engage your staff in self-reflection about their craft. I would advise giving everyone a few weeks to decompress, but then as July looms, send out a reminder to your staff to begin the self-reflection process. A simple, effective way to engage teachers with your evaluation instrument is to simply supply teachers with the evaluation instrument or rubric you use and have them rate themselves on that rubric and justify their ratings with examples. This method serves two purposes: In addition to providing a simple assessment form, teachers must examine the actual instrument and think about where they might be placed on the rating scale. Whatever method you choose, teachers should be able to come away with two to three areas that they feel they might learn more about, improve, or focus on. This, of course will necessitate some gentle coaching. Some high achieving teachers may negate their strengths, while some who are struggling may not be able to see their areas of need.

However, the benefits of self-assessment for teachers far outweigh the time and effort both school leaders and teachers make in beginning this process. Self-assessment encourages reflective practice, evaluation of teaching methods, materials, and interactions with students. This reflection helps identify strengths and areas for improvement, fostering continuous personal and professional growth. Self-assessment fosters a sense of accountability and ownership over one’s professional development. Teachers become proactive in seeking out resources, training, and feedback to enhance their skills and knowledge.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards provides resources on their use of teacher self-reflection, which can be found at Several states have built teacher self-evaluation into their multiple measures evaluation systems. In Ohio, you can find the Standards for the Teaching Profession at:

Many Ohio schools rely on either the OTES (Ohio Teacher Evaluation System) model, the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching:

or the Marzano Evaluation Method:

Each of those instruments provide samples of self-assessment forms.


Danielson, C. (2007). Enhancing professional practice: A framework for teaching. Alexandria: ASCD.

Korthagen, F., and Nuijten, E. (2022). The power of reflection in teacher education and professional development: Strategies for in-depth teacher learning. Milton Park: Routledge.

Scroll to Top