Jennifer Hooker, a drill team instructor and freshmen biology teacher at W.T. White High School, says the Dallas Independent School District’s new evaluation system, the Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI), is a model more and more teachers are now able to understand.
“We have received, I would say at least here, a lot of information about it – almost as they get it seems from our TEI point people,” Hooker said.
On Jan. 20, the first of several planned question and answer sessions was held at W.T. White. Hooker says there’s a lot to be gained from having the district’s top administrator, Superintendent Mike Miles, leading the discussions.
“I think first it shows the importance that he places on this process, that he is willing to take the time, and also how willing he is to be transparent that he will come and answer the questions,” Hooker said. “It’s going to help any one who has really picky questions, or if someone hasn’t been able to answer for them.“
The open meetings will also engage teachers by keeping them informed as the model is continuously being improved.
“I think it seems to be largely from the teacher’s perspective, but I think it’s a lot for an administrator to take in,” Hooker said. “So I hope that they can see us in every way, so that as many people can be exemplary as possible.”
The district is hosting a series of question and answer sessions through the end of March, with the hope of adding an extra layer of communication and transparency.