6 Ways to Measure Teacher Impact Besides Test Scores

6 Better Ways to Measure Teacher Impact Besides Test Scores

Each year right around January, students take test after test in order to prove that they’ve learned something. These tests are used to determine how effectively teachers did their jobs throughout the first half of the school year. These tests tell us if we are good teachers or not. Well, in theory.

I find that I end up questioning myself as a teacher every single year if these tests don’t show what I want them to. But that really isn’t fair. Many students have test anxiety and bomb a test due to fear. What if a kid is sick the day of the test? Am I a bad teacher because they had to sit through a two-hour test with a bad headache?  

So instead of looking at just these tests to determine my effectiveness, I have decided to ask some other questions to help determine if I have made an impact.

1. Do my students come to me when they have a problem?

If my students regularly come to me for help when they have problems this tells me that I have been successful at building a trusting relationship with that child. They know that they have an adult in their life they can come to for help. If my students feel safe and loved in my classroom, that is a win in my book. 

2. Does that child finally feel comfortable in my classroom?

If I have cultivated an environment in which students who might have been afraid of making mistakes or being laughed at now feel comfortable, that is a win in my book.

3. Do my kids get excited to start a new book or learn something new in math?

Half of the battle of teaching is getting students to be motivated about learning. If my students are pumped to start a new story or can’t wait to tell me their background knowledge on a math topic, that is a win in my book. 

4. Are my students kind to each other?

If my classroom is a space in which students support each other rather than trying to tear each other down, that is a win in my book. 

5. Do my students get excited when work is handed back to them?

When students are excited to see their grades, that shows me that they care about whether or not they are demonstrating their learning. If I have created a space in which students don’t dread my feedback, that is a win in my book. 

6. Have I seen an improvement in fluency when students read to me one on one?

If students are improving on their ability to read more complex texts as the year goes on, that is a win in my book. 

So, maybe my students are not always crushing it on these many tests they have to take back to back. But my students are demonstrating their learning and my impact as a teacher in so many other ways. I would be a fool to ignore all these wins in favor of focusing on a single test. Next time you are feeling like you aren’t doing enough as a teacher, please stop focusing on these single scores and consider these other factors. I guarantee you’re making an impact in more ways than you think! 

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