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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET 8 CHAPTER ONE The education leader’s responsibility, then, is to ensure that each section of the pyramid is: 1. functioning at a high-quality level (which requires monitoring through evaluation) and 2. improving or maintaining its quality level (which requires a strong and intentional system of support). DEFINING EVALUATION AND SUPPORT Evaluation has two definitions with distinctive nuances. One is to “judge the worth of” and the other is “to find the value of.” I suspect the resistance to the idea of evaluating teachers comes from the first meaning. Teachers are good people who care for children. It seems harsh to pass judgment on them. So I want to focus on the second meaning. It is important for us to find the value in teachers and to reflect it back to them. It is also important for teachers to find their own value and nurture it. Support has four possible meanings: 1. to hold up from beneath, 2. to uphold, 3. to stand by, and 4. to provide for. Some synonymous verbs are bolster, •• second, shore up, •• attend to, promote, •• reinforce, and encourage, •• keep from falling. strengthen, These words give an image of what best practices for supporting teachers might be. I want you to keep the images in your head as you continue to read. Teaching young children is a difficult job. First, it is physically demanding. Teachers must lift and carry babies and toddlers; sit on the floor or on small chairs all day long, even for meals; and care for the physical and safety needs of young children. Second, it is intellectually and emotionally demanding. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL