Teachers of all children usually receive an evaluation of some sort at one point of another. In my state, teachers are observed and evaluated during their first three years of teaching. The evaluation then helps determine if the teacher receives tenure. After a teacher has tenure, they are formally evaluated every five or so years. However, informal evaluations should be taking place by the principal every year.
Each time that I have been evaluated, the principal or administrator has notified me of the time and date. This I feel can be an advantage and a disadvantage.
When a teacher knows that an evaluation will be taking place, he/she usually spices things up a bit. I have even known of teachers who bribe their students for good behavior with treats or extra outside time. Most teachers will plan a little something extra in their lesson and dress a little more professionally.
While this looks really good on evaluation day, how about the rest of the year? As a teacher, yes, I do want to be extra prepared if someone will be visiting my room. However, as a parent, I would hope that the things listed above are happening all year and not just during evaluations.
I actually know of one teacher that prepped the students on questions to ask and comments to make. In my opinion that particular teacher does not normally do an outstanding job. However, due to the preparing, the teacher received an excellent evaluation.
I think that it might not be a bad idea if a couple of evaluations were unannounced. That way the true everyday routine could be seen. I think that this is especially important for preschool and daycare evaluations. I think that they should be rated and judged on what happens on a normal day not on a special “spruced-up” day.