Preparing Teacher Self-Evaluations with Chat GPT

Teachers are always in the business of self-improvement.

In each of my many years of classroom teaching, my principal would sit down with me and we would talk about my personal goals for the year. Then, at the end of the year, we would revisit those goals and it would be my job to demonstrate how I did on a variety of scales. This has always been a challenge for me, partially because I never paid much attention to the specific ways in which I aim for those scales, and partially because I don’t like bragging about myself.

When I got onto ChatGPT, though, this aspect of my job got a lot easier. When my principal sent me the list of self-evaluation questions, I got ChatGPT to help me by generating lists of indications that a teacher was fulfilling each goal. Then I figured out which ones applied to me, and rephrased them to make them sound more like my voice.

User:

Write some possible evidence for this teacher standard. What would a teacher do to exemplify this quality? “Exhibits personal ownership in the excellence of product or performance of learning”

ChatGPT:

Here are some possible examples of evidence for a teacher exhibiting personal ownership in the excellence of product or performance of learning:

  1. Sets high expectations for student learning: The teacher sets rigorous and challenging goals for student learning and creates lessons that demand mastery of content and skills.
  2. Continuously reflects on and improves teaching practice: The teacher regularly assesses the effectiveness of their teaching and adjusts their instructional strategies to improve student learning.
  3. Acts as a role model: The teacher models a growth mindset and a passion for learning in the classroom, inspiring students to do the same.
  4. Engages in ongoing professional development: The teacher is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest research, best practices, and pedagogical techniques to improve their teaching.
  5. Maintains accurate and thorough records of student learning: The teacher keeps detailed records of student performance, assessments, and progress to track student learning and make data-driven decisions.
  6. Collaborates with colleagues: The teacher works closely with colleagues to share ideas, resources, and strategies for improving student learning.
  7. Invests in the learning environment: The teacher takes the time and effort to create a classroom environment that is inclusive, supportive, and conducive to learning.
  8. Celebrates student success: The teacher recognizes and celebrates the achievements and progress of students, fostering a positive and supportive learning culture.

Looking at those lists, I decided that the first and fourth bullet points applied closely to my mode of teaching. I took them, modified them a bit, and had all the evidence I needed to cross off that question and move on to the next. What could have taken an hour of my precious planning time turned into a few minutes with the help of ChatGPT.

User:

Write some possible evidence for this teacher standard. What would a teacher do to exemplify this quality? “Procedures promote motivated learning”

ChatGPT:

If a teacher is effective at promoting motivated learning through their procedures, you might observe the following evidence:

  1. Differentiated Instruction: Tailoring lessons to meet diverse learning styles and abilities, ensuring that all students are engaged and challenged appropriately.
  2. Interactive Learning: Incorporating group work, discussions, and hands-on activities that encourage active participation and collaboration among students.
  3. Goal Setting: Helping students set achievable, personal learning goals and providing regular feedback so they can monitor their progress and feel a sense of accomplishment.
  4. Relevance: Connecting the curriculum to real-world situations and students’ interests to make learning more meaningful and engaging.
  5. Positive Environment: Creating a classroom atmosphere that is supportive and inclusive, where students feel safe to take risks and express themselves.
  6. Autonomy and Choice: Allowing students to have a say in their learning by offering choices in activities, projects, or assessment methods to increase their intrinsic motivation.
  7. Feedback and Recognition: Providing timely, constructive feedback and recognizing effort and achievement to boost students’ confidence and motivation.
  8. Engaging Resources: Using a variety of resources and technologies that cater to different learning preferences and keep the content stimulating.
  9. Scaffolding: Breaking down tasks into manageable steps and providing support as needed to build confidence and independence in learning.
  10. Inquiry-Based Learning: Encouraging students to ask questions, investigate, and explore topics of interest, fostering a sense of curiosity and a love for learning.

These practices demonstrate a teacher’s ability to create a learning environment that motivates students by making learning engaging, relevant, and accessible to all learners.

Once again, I found a few different points from ChatGPT’s list that I felt like I did well, and adapted them to describe my classroom methods, policies, and procedures. After including an example here and there, I had my self-evaluation paperwork done in a fraction of the time it normally takes.

I have to admit I felt a twinge of guilt when my principal responded with: “I can tell you put some thought into this. Thank you.” But the guilt was short-lived. The truth is that I did do all the things I put onto my self-evaluation form. ChatGPT helped me access those experiences and put them into words in a highly efficient manner. I didn’t falsely claim to be doing anything. And it was true that I put some thought into the task. I just didn’t have to agonize over it.

This experience actually helps me a lot in illustrating how my students may see the writing assignments I give them. In the past, I’ve avoided doing self-evaluations because they took me a long time, and I experienced writer’s block. This gives me some empathy for their task as a student. Many times they may also feel like writing takes a long time, and they experience writer’s block. In times when they don’t know where to start, ChatGPT can help them with ideas that can get them unstuck, just like it did for me. As long as we are using our own words in the end, this can be seen as a productive way to get us all started.

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