ClassInTheBox, an ally for teachers´appraisals and self-evaluation

A significant challenge faced by schools in the UK is the insufficient quantity and quality of applicants for teacher vacancies. Teacher recruitment and retention have once again become a major issue, and the pandemic has exacerbated the problem. In 2022, the recruitment of trainees into postgraduate initial teacher training was worse than before the pandemic, while the number of school vacancies posted in 2022 was higher than before the pandemic. This situation suggests that secondary schools may struggle to fill vacancies in the coming years unless immediate action is taken. It is essential for the Government to focus on improving teacher recruitment and retention to alleviate teacher shortages and their adverse effects on schools.

With this scenario in mind, the reality is that around 20% of teachers in the UK are new or have less than two years of experience, which significantly affects the quality of the system and creates other obstacles, such as monitoring and supporting new teachers.

Allocating teachers to mentor and appraise new educators can be challenging due to the shortage of teachers and the large number of new teachers who need attention. For this reason, our device ClassInTheBox and the web-based tool for video marking and annotation can provide a solution and facilitate mentors in giving valuable feedback to their mentorees.

– The CITB device (consisting of a wireless microphone, an additional camera, and a small hub box that connects all the equipment) can be used to record classes.
The recordings are stored in the teacher’s “My Videos” gallery, from where they can be shared with the mentor for viewing and supervision.
– Mentors can mark up the videos as feedback, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, identifying moments for discussion, and providing ideas, among other things.
– At the same time, teachers being monitored can watch the video themselves and, either at the mentor’s suggestion or on their own initiative, engage in metacognitive activities to reflect on their own teaching practice.
CITB also offers a portable and easy to set up way to quickly record and then self-evaluate a lesson or part of it for any teacher, not just for their mentor.
– As the annotated video is a “hub” that connects the recording with other resources, it is possible to add forms, links to other pages, activity proposals, and links to other videos with best practices, etc.

All of this will enrich the process of monitoring new teachers, promoting a rich exchange and transfer of information that will help new teachers face their classes with more confidence. This will also save costs in the management of appraisal processes and allow for viewing outside of school hours, reducing the need for mentors to travel or miss their own lessons in order to do a class visit and optimizing the entire system of supervision and coaching.