What are the rules and procedures for observations? How many? When?
With or without notice?
Nov 1, 2007 3:13 PM
A: Observations and evaluations fall under the general category of
performance review, which is cited in Article 8J of the UFT contract.
Performance reviews are intended to help teachers accomplish their
educational goals with their students.
In response to concerns about the evaluation and observation system for
teachers, the UFT and Department of Education agreed upon a plan for
teacher evaluation that is incorporated in the contract and is spelled
out in the document “Teaching for the 21st Century.”
This document is available from your chapter leader or your UFT borough
You can find highlights of this document at online.
Tenured teachers, in consultation with their supervisors, may choose
either the “performance option” or the traditional classroom
observation as the basis for their performance review.
New and probationary teachers in the community school districts
(non-high school) must have at least two formal classroom observations
per year; those in the high schools must have at least four formal
classroom observations a year.
For all new and probationary teachers, at least one of these classroom
observations must be conducted by the principal.
If you think you are being excessively observed, keep a log of the
visits and speak to your chapter leader.
A formal observation is one which includes pre- and post-observation
conferences and written feedback and/or comments.
A supervisor has the right to enter a teacher’s class unannounced.
However, such visits generally are not written up.
Preconferences are required for all formal teacher observations.
They may be: 1. one-to-one conferences between the supervisor and
teacher; 2. small group meetings; or 3, a written notification
outlining a menu of possible instructional areas to be evaluated during
the formal observation, with teacher input on the area(s) to be
One-to-one conferences are required for U-rated teachers but any
teacher may request one.
A written request for a one-to-one conference must be granted (Chief
Executive Memorandum # 80, 1997-98).
If your written request is denied, you may grieve under Articles 8J and
Following the observation, you should write down your recollections of
the lesson, which will be helpful to you in the post-observation
conference with your supervisor.
You will receive a written report of the observation after the
post-observation conference and will be asked to sign it to indicate
that you have seen it, whether or not you agree with it.
If you believe the post-observation is inaccurate or unfair, you should
speak to your chapter leader, who can help you formulate a written
response and advise you of the other options open to you. Your response
must be attached to the original report and placed with the original in