9 Tips for Conducting Excellent Educator Appraisals

Posted on Updated on



For many managers, May signals the beginning of performance appraisals; a stressful time in any service, as giving and receiving feedback can be awkward and uncomfortable.

The good news is, they don’t have to be. With the right skills and the right approach, appraisals can be a stroll in the park! Don’t stress, we can help…

Services that achieve an exceeding rating, need to have a performance and development system that supports high performance. Formal once-a-year appraisals belong back in the 80’s along with Michael Jackson and Jane Fonda. The old school approach of having a yearly meeting to deliver feedback and assess performance has no place in the modern high performance workplaces of today.

Here are 9 things for conducting excellent Educator Appraisals.


  1. It’s a process, not a meeting

Appraisal meetings are just a small component of a much bigger performance management process. Best-practice performance management suggests that feedback should be continual and the service should have a culture of personal development and of celebrating success.


  1. It’s not about giving feedback!

Performance appraisals are an opportunity for you to celebrate strengths and plan for career advancement. They are not about feedback, feedback should be happening contemporaneously. The appraisal meeting may be an opportunity to review feedback given over the past 12 months, but try to avoid giving new feedback in appraisals meetings.


  1. They are a NQF requirement

Element 7.2.2 states that “The performance of educators, coordinators and staff members is evaluated and individual development plans are in place to support performance improvement.”


  1. Goals Goals Goals

Goal setting forms a critical component of appraisals. Goals drive performance. Most services see a dramatic increase in performance when individual Educator goals are closely tied to the overall service goals.


  1. Can you measure Respect?

Goals need to be measurable. If I set a goal for a room assistant to gain more respect from children over the next 12 months, I’m going to have to measure whether she has or has not achieved the goal.

How can you measure if respect has increased?

  • Room Leader observations
  • Number of children enquiring about Educators’ wellbeing
  • Feedback from peers
  • Children’s behaviour when assistant is in-charge
  • Feedback from Parents
  • Levels of family input achieved by the assistant.


  1. Reviews link to Rewards

If I work harder, put in more effort, and achieve more during the year, should I be rewarded the same as someone who does nothing all year? Of course not, reviews should link to rewards. Pay rises, promotions and bonuses are just the beginning. You can become creative with your rewards. How about giving extra time in lieu? Or, maybe extra programming time, or perhaps give them a day a week to program and let them do it from home.


  1. Behaviours and Attitudes matter!

Technical competencies are traditionally found in job descriptions. They outline what tasks need to be completed by a particular role, but job descriptions are not very good at outlining behavioural expectations.

Behaviours such as initiative, creativity, empathy, collaboration, and innovation are all important attitudes to discuss during appraisals.

Here are some behaviours you might like to introduce into your next appraisal.


  1. Flow

Flow is an emotion in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. Flow occurs when the challenge you’re presented with, is commensurate with your skill level. As managers and leaders, we can use appraisals to ensure a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task at hand and their skills.


  1. Focus On The Future

Discussions should focus on future plans and objectives, and how both parties can work together to achieve results. You should ask Educators what they need from you, or how you could be of more assistance. Appraisals are also a time for you to communicate how you see them developing and how the service plans to support their development.


To find out more information on how to conduct excellent Educator appraisals, enrol in our Hiring, Firing and Everything in Between workshop.