Student evaluations are a useful source of feedback for teachers.
Students are with teachers on a daily basis, which makes them a good resource for evaluating teachers. The judgments students make of teachers are based on hundreds or thousands of hours of contact, which is much more time than a principal or other adult observer spends. Student evaluations come in two main forms - daily feedback in the form of attentiveness, facial expressions, restlessness, disruptive behavior, etc., and end-of-the-semester or end-of-the-year feedback in the form of a questionnaire or evaluation form. Both types of evaluations provide valuable information for the teacher.
Peer assessments are also useful for teachers.
In almost every classroom, principals and other school personnel spend time observing teachers. These observations, although evaluative in nature, provide important feedback for teachers in terms of their strengths and weaknesses in the classroom. In addition to the principal, other teachers in the building can provide important feedback on instructional techniques for teachers, specific information that students might not be able to provide. Information like this can also be obtained through the use of electronic discussion forums.
In addition to student and peer assessments, self-assessment is a valuable source for feedback.
Self-assessment is an important technique for gauging one's progress. Self-assessment techniques include analysis of an audiotaped or videotaped lesson, reflective lesson plans, and a guided reflection protocol. Teachers can also use reflective journals to assess their progress. Reflective journals can be used to store instructional ideas and techniques as well as to record observations and reflections about teaching. Journals allow teachers to put in writing what they are thinking about and note how they can improve. By having information in writing, teachers can go back and implement what they were thinking.