Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


Throughout the country, schools are using new teacher evaluation systems as a tool for professional development with the goal of improving teaching quality and students’ outcomes. However, not all teacher evaluation rubrics specifically address or encourage evidence-based practices for special education teachers, and many principals report that they are unsure how to evaluate special education teachers. This article provides an overview of teacher evaluation and special education teacher evaluation, and presents a strategy, based on existing research on effective teacher coaching and performance feedback, goal setting, and self-monitoring, to assist special educators in leveraging the evaluation process as a professional development opportunity.


Allison F. Gilmour, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Temple University. Her research interests include special education policy, policies and interventions to improve teaching quality for students with disabilities, and classroom management.

Amanda Sheaffer, Ph.D. is a research associate for the Department of Special Education at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include salient risk factors in the development of school-based problem behavior and classroom behavior intervention.

Caitlyn E. Majeika, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of North Texas. Her research interests include the development and implementation of function-based behavioral interventions for students with or at-risk for emotional or behavioral disorders and training teachers to use a data-based decision-making process to adapt and intensify behavioral supports.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.