Evaluating the situation
By: John and Kendra Smiley
Kendra – I taught school for several years before we started our family. Each year the principal would come into my classroom to evaluate how I was doing. The visit consisted of observing a lesson or two and scrutinizing my bulletin boards and lesson plans.
After the evaluation I received feedback and learned ways I could improve as an educator. The principal also pointed out things that were being done well. The purpose was to encourage me and help me improve my skills.
John – Like Kendra, I received teacher evaluations for a few years. For almost thirty years, in the Air Force and Air Force Reserves, I was given a check ride as the pilot of a KC-135. There were no bulletin boards or lesson plans to evaluate in the cockpit. Instead the evaluation determined my competence and eligibility to continue flying for another year.
Evaluation is an important part of almost every profession if the goal is to get better and better. It is even an important part of parenting.
When Kendra and I were raising our sons it was tough to find time for evaluation. It might have been tough, but it was not impossible. With a little creativity we came up with the idea of a S.A.M.S. meeting. That stood for Sunday AM Summit and it was a time for the two of us to evaluate our parenting, see if there were things in need of improvement, and celebrate what was going well.
As different issues arose during the week we would postpone discussion until the S.A.M.S. meeting if at all possible. Then by the time we considered the situations on Sunday morning, a great deal of the emotion was gone. If there were many things we wanted to discuss, we simply started a little sooner, allowing time to get the kids up and going for Sunday school and church.
Kendra – We were evaluating, communicating, brainstorming, and solving problems together. That word “together” is significant. John and I brought different skills and different viewpoints to the S.A.M.S. meetings. When we worked together, the kids had the advantage of our combined insights and knowledge.
Let us hear from you.
What methods have you found to help you evaluate your parenting? Do you think a S.A.M.S. meeting might work for you?