appraisals – call me crazy, but I like them

I saw this tweet from Andrew Murray today

tweet pic

Which has got me thinking – I normally hear ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’.

I like this better though. There are some things I am good at, some things I am working on and some things I acknowledge I am rubbish at (like proof reading – I just can never tell the difference between a then and a than) that I don’t really want to put the energy into changing.

But unless some-one tells you things you can work on, you can’t get better at them. This is why I like appraisals, and look to use them to improve.I get so frustrated when people say things like

‘they aren’t worth the paper they are written on’

‘I just copy and paste it from year to year’

‘Why do I have to have a goal?’

‘why bother, no one reads them anyway?’

And so on – I am sure some of you have heard some more colourful comments on appraisals as well.

But for me it is a chance to really think about the impact I am having. This year I know I have been a bit absent at times from my students, and yet again I will be out tomorrow with my girls for football. Don’t get me wrong, despite the relief and stress for being out, the football is a highlight. Building relationships and having fun are all part of what I consider to be my job. Yet that isn’t in our appraisal documents.

But when it comes to teaching and learning and pastoral, I don’t always know what I am not good at. Who are the students in my class are unhappy? The law of averages means that of the 123 students I teach each week, plus the 15 I coach, and the kids I interact with while on duty etc, some-one must not be overly happy. There could be things I could be doing better.

Which also needs to be tendered with what is realistic and achievable. But just like I want my students to be reflective and learn from mistakes, I want to too. So I take my appraisal seriously, as it is an opportunity to learn, grow and move forward and talk over some things that might not be as good as they should be.

So in amongst all the other things on towards the end of the term, I am looking forward to making the time to ensure next term is a better one again.

Have fun everyone

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