3 Factors for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Child’s Teacher

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." ~ Albert Einstein

I was an educator long before my current position as a ride-or-die parent to my three lovelies. Gliding along a seamless transition from student to teacher, from teacher to parent, created a framework for a continual cycle of learning. The process of education consists of a delicate balance between student, teacher, the lesson and life circumstances. Delivered appropriately, the teachable moment facilitates understanding, enabling mastery of the lesson at hand. Often times there is a series of unfortunate events, if you will, posing barriers to the learning process. Consider these three factors when evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching methods of your child’s teacher.


She Cast Me as the Almost Forgetful Little Princess



With my little tummy swarming with butterflies, I took a deep breath and stepped out onto the auditorium stage. Appropriately costumed in my blindingly white kimono with a royal red satin sash and matching red pants, this was my moment. In third grade I was little Niecy, the class line leader when placed in size order, and in our school production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, she cast me as the almost forgetful little princess that almost walked away with her back turned to her father, the King of Siam. My favorite teacher, Mrs. Goldman was my third and fourth grade teacher with a passion for teaching the performing arts.



Performing in my debut performance with my classmates became a fantastic and frightening reality, quite possibly one of my first stand and deliver moments in my young life. Captivated by Mrs. Goldman’s dedication and commitment to the significance of our off-off-off-off (way off) Broadway production inspired me. Not only was I now committed to being one of the King’s royal marching children, I became the diva of all of the almost forgetful little royal princesses to ever grace the stage- as I recall it, anyway.

Effective teaching is one of the most influential factors to the successful education of students. Passionate educators challenging the constraints of mandated curriculum with innovative conceptualization of required course material are too often the exception, far from the educational norm. Observing two teachers presenting identical lesson plans to similar classes of students will reveal varying levels of comprehension within the classes and between the two classes observed. The difference lies not in what lesson is being taught, rather how the lesson is being taught and to whom. Let’s face it, even with the best of intentions, not all teaching methods are proven to be effective with every student.

Professional Development workshops offer instructors a broader perspective to the trending research and trends in educational strategies. Leaving an aftermath of teachers now ready to change the world or eye-rolling rebels pledging allegiance to delivering that beloved mandated curriculum. Valuing the merit of both perspectives, approaching the educational curriculum of each student individually requires SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis of multiple teaching methods. As a mother and an educator, I can attest to the fact that practically anything that worked with with my daughter academically was flipped topsy-turvy with my son based upon their different academic profiles. Stating that their learning styles are different would be an understatement.

Considering the fact that the vast majority of student-teacher pairings are based upon administrative actions, compatibility between teaching styles and learning styles are at times mismatched. Consider these three factors when evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching methods of your child’s teacher-

Factor 1 - Are Class Lesson Objectives Clearly Explained to Students?

Each new unit of study should be introduced to clearly outline the purpose and learning end goals for students. Progressive data periodically charts the strengths and weaknesses of students as a determination of concept mastery.

Factor 2 - Does the Teacher Encourage Open Learning Opportunities?

Effective teachers are also lifelong learners. A wealth of knowledge can be gained by facilitating open learning opportunities for student to demonstrate comprehension of subject matter through class discussions. This is also prime time for students to lend a hand to struggling students.

Factor 3 - Is Honest Feedback Provided and Accepted?

Students should receive fair feedback about their performance as a class, and most importantly as individuals. Likewise, opening up to accepting feedback from students enables the adaption of lesson plans and goals to optimize learning successes.

The learning curve for students and teachers is a fluid basis for the achievement of effective learning in a classroom environment. First and foremost, an educator that students deem trustworthy and relate to are far more likely to excel. Education is a process in which the measure of success should focus on student mastery of curriculum material as opposed to evaluative performances on standardized testing material. Casting for a major off-off-off-off (way off) Broadway production never hurts, says the diva of all of the almost forgetful little royal princesses to ever grace the stage.