Q: Nearly all our teachers have performed some type of virtual instruction in addition to standard face-to-face instruction this school year. Should we evaluate our employees on both virtual and in-person instruction?
A: Yes, the Texas Education Code mandates that the teacher appraisal criteria be based on observable, job-related behavior including implementation of discipline management procedures and the performance of teachers’ students. As such, any instruction provided virtually should be evaluated.
The evaluation of virtual instruction can be conducted utilizing the standard T-TESS rubric. However, if a teacher is providing solely virtual instruction, TEA has released a Virtual Instruction Rubric that can supplant the standard T-TESS rubric, but it is not mandatory. The revised rubric contemplates the virtual structure and makes amendments to Domains 1-3 to identify best practices for planning, delivering instruction, and creating a virtual classroom environment that supports learning. Teachers who provide both face-to-face and virtual instruction should be evaluated with the standard rubric, and administrators can use the Virtual Instruction Rubric as reference tool when conducting observations and for purposes of coaching and supporting teachers in their virtual instruction. The Virtual T-TESS Rubric is considered part of the Commissioner’s recommended appraisal system, in accordance with Texas Education Code § 21.351; therefore, there is no requirement to take formal action should a district elect to use the Virtual T-TESS Rubric in its formal appraisal process. TEA provides additional resources and materials, including the Virtual T-TESS Rubric, for educators to consider in improving their practice at https://tea.texas.gov/texas-educators/educator-evaluation-and-support-system/texas-teacher-evaluation-and-support-system.