Respond in 100 words each by Interacting with your colleagues, sharing additional insights, comparing experiences, and posing questions that further promotes dialogue.
I am currently a special education preschool teacher as well as the teaching and learning support lead for my school. My first course, child development in the critical early years, and this current course on evaluating and supporting early childhood programs provide me with the knowledge and skills needed to support the teachers and children within our program. These courses have promoted professional growth and allowed me to take on more leadership roles within my program. With the completion of this class, I plan to continue to move my program forward and implement valuable assessment and support procedures.
My biggest question is how to choose the right assessment tool. There are so many out there and I want to ensure I am choosing the best fit for our program. Best practice that I have experience with from a previous program evaluation I participated in is the importance of relationships in early learning. Children learn best when they feel safe and building relationships ensures trust between the teacher and student.
The process of evaluating program quality will impact me by providing me with professional development and growth opportunities. For example, evaluating programs can give me a look into a variety of classroom settings. When we evaluate programs and reflect on those results, we can make improvements in the classroom which can lead to higher quality early childhood education programs and positive student outcomes.
I love being a second-grade teacher, and I do not see myself changing career paths in the foreseeable future. However, after being on my district’s literacy
program evaluation team, I found that I liked digging into the data and seeing if the programs within our district are effective for our students and allowing
students to make growth. I want to take what I learn about program evaluation in this course and use it to help evaluate programs within my district to
ensure that all students are given programs in their education that fit their needs and help them continue to grow.
Before this one, I spent the last two school years as part of my district’s literacy evaluation team evaluating the Lucy Calkins Units of Study in
reading and writing. We have used these programs for the last eight years, and there were mixed reviews of their effectiveness across the district based on
yearly end-of-the-year testing. The literacy team was designed to do a complete program evaluation and see if the Units of Study effectively achieved student
As a team, we dug into all the data. We sent out staff self-reflection surveys and collected STAR and NWEA literacy scores from the previous three
years. We looked at district running record data and phonemic awareness testing for kindergarten to grade 3 in that same period. The data showed that our
students did not make student growth. From there, I was able to help impact programing at my school as part of a team who evaluated and chose a new
program. I was also impacted as I had to learn and implement a new program. I have liked the new program we choose as a district, and the first year of
implementation has gone well. I also realize that when we evaluate this programming in a few years, the decision to keep or change our literacy program will
depend on student growth. Program evaluation ultimately will always impact future teaching and learning in my classroom.
Questions I have:
· What are the differences in program evaluations in preschool classes and primary classrooms?
· How are parents and families involved in program evaluations?
· How often should program evaluations be happening? After implementing a new program, how often do you wait to evaluate its effectiveness
Scholar Practitioners as Program Evaluators
When I became an educator, I took for granted the umbrella of experience that would cover me as a teacher. I assumed that I would teach a classroom from of children and each year, I would instinctively grow. While as a teacher I have grown tremendously, it was not by chance or luck. Through challenging years or instruction, collaboration, and work within professional learning communities, I continue to develop into a stronger educator for my students. Thus, learning more about program evaluation through this course, I can better understand programs that are implemented in our schools and assess their quality for the success of our students. Furthermore, effectively evaluating programs can help strengthen my role as a teacher to identify and accredit programs that are strategically more beneficial for my students.
While listening to scholars speak in this week’s media selection, there are many crucial benefits that align with best practices in program evaluation. First, using a process of accreditation to identify strengths and weaknesses can promote stronger professional development and overall organizational development (cdn-media,Waldenu.edu.) This is a vital step in assessing a program. If it does not strengthen educators in the process, is it truly beneficial to our students? Another advantage to program evaluation would be the increased parent involvement. Personally, I have witnessed the increase in inclusion through math programs that were evaluated. Parents were educated more and as a result were most vested in the process and ultimately, their child’s success. Through the process of program evaluation, educators like myself can be impacted with becoming stronger teachers through better professional development. In addition, we can build our knowledge and experience and in turn impact more students and their families through involvement and awareness of program evaluation.
· Walden University, LLC. (Producer). (201y6a). NAEYC accreditation
· MD: Author