Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 12-3-2019


One of the largest challenges for administrators is to create and implement teacher evaluation systems that help improve teaching and student learning. As policymakers and administrators have worked throughout the United States to develop and implement new teacher evaluation systems, teacher involvement in developing those teacher evaluation systems has been limited. Specifically, the evaluation process and the tools used in a state in the southwestern part of the United States to evaluate teachers do not incorporate teachers’ perspectives, yet they directly impact teacher standing, ability to receive tenure status, and, in some cases, their salary.

The purpose of this research study was to examine teachers’ perspectives. The qualitative data collected and analyzed during my phenomenological study reflected teachers’ perspectives of the observation portion of the evaluation system. This qualitative study collected data from five teachers who work in an urban school district. The participants are all elementary and middle school teachers in the same school district, located in the American Southwest. All school rankings in the school ranking system (A-F) are represented in the group of participants. During the study, all of the participants recognized the need for incorporating observations into the evaluation system. However, the participants believed that changes needed to occur in order to increase the effectiveness and accuracy of the process. The changes suggested by participants included having evaluators spend more time in the classrooms, more evaluators visiting each classroom, and pre- and post-conferences. These adjustments could help teachers build stronger relationships with their evaluators and increase overall accuracy of collected data, as well as help evaluators know the students better. If these changes occurred, the participants indicated that the process would be more meaningful and helpful as they aim to strengthen their practices, which would ultimately benefit student learning.

This research is relevant for administrators and others who are developing and implementing teacher evaluation systems, helping them understand the teachers’ perspectives of the observation portion of the evaluation system when reflecting on the current system and making possible adjustments in the future.


Teacher evaluation, evaluation, observation

Document Type




Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Marjori Krebs

Second Committee Member

Cheryl Torrez

Third Committee Member

Sheri Williams

Fourth Committee Member

Kersti Tyson