A Principal’s Perspective: Educator Feedback Is Crucial


John C. Maxwell, renowned author, noted in his book “Winning with People” that every person has something to share—a lesson learned, an observation, a life experience.

As educators in the state of Tennessee, it is our professional responsibility to share researched-based best practices, have a growth mindset, and make every decision that will be in the best interest of our students.

Right now, we have been empowered through the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA) and the Tennessee Department of Education to share the current educational experiences in our schools.

In order to take advantage of this opportunity, all we have to do is take 15 – 20 minutes out of our day to complete the 2018 Tennessee Educator Survey—the survey window closes on Friday, April 20th.

By sharing and voicing our opinions concerning our school’s culture, we can continue doing what is right by our students—and that is to give valuable feedback to state and local policymakers concerning matters affecting our schools and classrooms.

Feedback also matters at the school level. As a principal, it is critical for me to know and understand what the teachers in our building think about our school climate, the feedback they receive, and the quality of their professional learning. The Tennessee Educator Survey gives them an opportunity to voice their opinions confidentially.

As a reminder, below are a few facts provided by TERA about the survey:

• All individual responses are confidential, but TERA will share aggregated school-level results for all schools with at least 45 percent participation.
• If the aforementioned threshold is met, you will receive your school-level results by the end of May.
• Every survey participant becomes immediately eligible for a weekly lottery that will award $300 classroom grants.
• Schools that reached or exceeded 90% participation by April 6th have become eligible for a lottery that will award seven $2,000 staff appreciation grants.

Let us continue sharing the experiences concerning educational practices across our state, district, and schools so we can continue being the defining difference in our students’ lives. By working together and on one accord, we can ensure our students are equipped with the tools needed to graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce.

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Marlon Heaston

Dr. Marlon Heaston currently serves as principal of Kenwood Middle School located in Clarksville, Tennessee. He thoroughly enjoys working alongside the students, teachers, and community as KMS continues to strive for excellence. Before joining the KMS community, Heaston served as the STEM, Athletic Director, and Health Science Academy Administrator for Northwest High School from 2013 - 2015. Heaston served as an Algebra I teacher at Covington High School in Tipton County prior to moving to Clarksville. Heaston holds a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University as well as a Master’s and Doctorate degree from Trevecca Nazarene University.

The SCORE Sheet is the online conversation on public education reform in Tennessee and is hosted by SCORE. The blog mirrors SCORE’s collaborative nature and features contributors from Tennessee and across the country including students, parents, teachers, policymakers, community groups, and members of SCORE’s team. Regardless of perspective, contributors share a common goal: that every child graduates from high school prepared for college or the workforce.

Posts on The SCORE Sheet are the opinions of the individual contributors and are not necessarily reflective of the opinions and positions of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE).