The top part of this page addresses general teacher evaluation questions in regards to the home education law in the state of Florida. Scroll down for answers to frequently asked questions regarding teacher evaluations with Mike and Cheryl Bastian.
What is a teacher evaluation?
Florida law requires parents/guardians who homeschool through the home education program with their local superintendent to file an annual evaluation with the county superintendent's office. The teacher evaluation is one of five options by which a parent/guardian can meet the annual evaluation.
Who can do a teacher evaluation?
The parent/guardian selects a Florida-certified teacher who holds a current Florida teaching certificate to do the teacher evaluation. Local support groups and state organizations often have a lists of teacher evaluators they recommend.
What can a parent/guardian expect at a teacher evaluation?
Each teacher evaluator will conduct an evaluation differently. Some will informally discuss the contents of the child's portfolio, others will administer a formal test. Still others combine the two methods and ask informal questions as the portfolio is reviewed. It is important that the parent/guardian interview the evaluator before the evaluation takes place so that all parties have the same expectations. From a legal standpoint, the evaluator is noting whether the child "demonstrates educational progress at a level commensurate with his or her ability."
How does the parent/guardian select a teacher evaluator?
Parents/guardians should interview the teacher evaluator to be sure the expectations of all parties are acceptable. It is recommended that home school families locate a teacher evaluator in the beginning of the school year to determine what exactly the evaluator will expect. Knowing what the evaluator will expect will help the parent/guardian decide on a record keeping method which supports the evaluation method. Parents/guardians might ask the evaluator:
- Do you hold a current, valid Florida teaching certificate to teach academic subjects at an elementary or secondary level?
- Are you familiar with home education?
- Are you a home schooling parent?
- What words would best describe your educational philosophy?
- Have you evaluated home educated students in the past?
- What can I expect to occur during the evaluation?
- Are the parents/guardians encouraged to remain with the child?
- How long can I expect the evaluation to last?
- What materials should I bring to the evaluation?
- Where does the evaluation take place?
- What fees will be associated with the evaluation?
EVALUATIONS WITH MIKE AND CHERYL BASTIAN
Who are Mike and Cheryl Bastian?
Mike and Cheryl are the parents of seven children, toddler to adult. The Bastians have been home educating their children for 22 years. Currently, Mike is a middle school history teacher, serving the same school for 27 years. Cheryl's background in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and Mike's Secondary Education experience complement one another as they encourage families with children preschool through college, and beyond.
What can I expect during our teacher evaluation with Mike and Cheryl?
When the family arrives, Mike and Cheryl will welcome them. During the first few minutes of the evaluation, Mike and Cheryl listen to the parent/guardian review the year and introduce the educational methods used by the family. The remainder of the time is spent with the parent/guardian and the child reviewing the portfolio. This is an informal time in which the parties involved discuss the contents. The child is often excited to share the highlights of the year as he/she sees familiar activities and work samples in the portfolio. The time together is often filled with ooh's and ah's; kind of like an old fashioned Show and Tell. Some children will wander away and then come back to the table, but most are eager to stay and share. At the end of the evaluation, Mike and Cheryl answer any questions the parent/guardian may have about the progression of the child or the curriculum used. Most parents/guardians ask questions about curriculum selection, managing the details of their days or about how to log certain activities.
How much time should I set aside for the evaluation?
Typically the evaluation of one child takes about one hour. This may vary according to how the work samples are presented, which curriculum was used or how many questions the parent/guardian asks. If there is more than one child being evaluated, it is best to plan an additional 45 minutes per child.
What should I bring to the teacher evaluation with Mike and Cheryl?
Mike and Cheryl enjoy seeing anything the family presents that would denote that the child has made progress. Some families bring all their dated work samples arranged chronologically in a 3-ring binder. Others bring plastic bins of art projects, dioramas, models and displays, or a scrapbook of photographs taken throughout the year. Mike and Cheryl are happy to review any work samples, workbooks, photographs, travel logs, projects or writing brought by the family. Specific questions regarding this matter can be addressed personally with Mike and Cheryl at the time the appointment is made.
Parents of high school children are encouraged to bring any college admission paperwork should they request feedback on formatting and content.
What is the cost for the evaluation?
Mike and Cheryl charge $45 per evaluation with a discount for additional children. This fee includes feedback for parents as well as any follow-up questions the family may have during the year.
Can I ask for a referral or a reference from someone who has used Mike and Cheryl as evaluators?
Mike and Cheryl have worked with families year after year, often seeing children from their first evaluation through high school graduation. They are more than willing to offer references. Please contact them for this information.
When do Mike and Cheryl do the evaluations?
Mike and Cheryl do 95% of the evaluations over the summer months when Mike is out of school (our schedule fills up quickly) and most parent's annual evaluations are due. If this time frame does not fit the needs of your family due to the date of which the letter of intent was sent to the county, please contact Cheryl to make other arrangements.
How do we make an appointment for a teacher evaluation with Mike and Cheryl?
To make an appointment with Mike and Cheryl, simply click on Contact Cheryl on the right side bar. In the email, you may ask questions or request a date for an evaluation. Please offer three dates and add a preference for the morning slot or the afternoon slot. Also note how many children need evaluations so that enough time can be set aside for your family. Mike and Cheryl do their best to meet the first request of each family. Additionally, for families who have not used Mike and Cheryl previously, please note what curriculum was used or the educational philosophy preferred.