providing effective, supportive feedback on teacher observations

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Virginia Department of Education Office of School Improvement. Providing Effective, Supportive Feedback on Teacher Observations. 2013-2014. Agenda. Why is Lesson Observation Important?. Why do we observe teachers?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Providing Effective, Supportive Feedback on Teacher ObservationsVirginia Department of EducationOffice of School Improvement2013-2014Welcome to the Virginia Department of Education, Office of School Improvement webinar on Providing Effective, Supportive Feedback on Teacher Observations.1AgendaToday we will move through four major questions in order to discuss this topic:

Why is lesson observation important?What is evidence and how do we objectively collect it?How do we decrease bias and increase reliability in observations?How do we use a model to give constructive feedback?2Why is Lesson Observation Important?Lets start with Question 1: Why is Lesson Observation Important?3Why do we observe teachers?[T]he purpose of supervision should be the enhancement of teachers pedagogical skills, with the ultimate goal of enhancing student achievement.4Marzano, R.J., Fronteri, T., & Livingston, D. (2011). Effective supervision: Supporting the art and science of teaching. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD..

Read this quote from Marzanos book Effective Supervision: Supporting the Art and Science of Teaching.

There are two main points regarding why we observe teachers. The first, is to help teachers increase their pedagogical knowledge, which refers to their methods and practices for teaching the knowledge and skills in the particular curriculum.

The other point, which is just as important, however, is the emphasis on student achievement or student learning. Its not enough simply to look at the teaching that is occurringwe must also look at the outcomes of that teaching. How are students better for having sat through a lesson? What have they learned? How do you know that they have learned it? What can they now do that they could not do before?

4My ideal evaluator would care deeply aboutthe work I do and would have a vision for how that work, done artfully, contributes to the betterment of people.Tomlinson, C.A. (2012). The evaluation of my dreams. Educational Leadership, 70(3). ASCD.Now read and think about the meaning of this quote. How does it relate to teacher evaluation? Do you agree with this quote? Disagree?

This quote speaks volumes about the importance of communication between evaluators and teachers. An effective evaluator can help a teacher to significantly improve performance, which can result in increased student learning and achievement. One of the ways this is done is through informative and effective feedback. 5Teacher evaluation is not an end in itself, but a means to an end TEACHER IMPROVEMENT. Davis, D. R., Ellett, C. D., & Annunziata, J. (2002). Teacher evaluation, leadership and learning organizations. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 16(4), 287-301. p. 288.

Why Evaluation Only Is Not EnoughWhile we do observe teachers in order to collect evidence for evaluations, its important to remember that teacher professional growth is one of the essential reasons that a teacher evaluation system is designed and implemented. D.R. Davis and colleagues suggest that school-based administrative and professional leadership play essential roles in determining the meaning and value of teacher evaluation in schools, and how teacher evaluation can extend beyond its ritualistic traditions to improve teaching and learning. The leadership makes the difference between perfunctory summative teacher evaluation and meaningful assessment of the teaching and learning process that has the potential to enhance the quality of teaching and student learning.

Therefore, if we want teacher evaluation to result in improved instruction, we need to acknowledge the essential role that principals, who are the schools instructional leaders, play in providing feedback to their teachers.6Making Permanent Changes: The Importance of LeadershipDuring the course of these webinars, weve discussed many processes for unpacking the standards, planning lessons, and using high-yield strategies. The only way that any of these processes will be successful and lead to greater student learning, however, is if we provide our educators with explicit training on these skills and our expectations for how we expect to see them used. Even that is not enough, however. We also must have an explicit, sustained emphasis on these skills which is done through monitoring and feedback at both the division and the school level. Principals at schools should be monitoring teachers on their use of these skills and providing them with feedback; divisions should be monitoring the principals feedback to the teachers. We cannot assume that if we introduce teachers once to a process, they will automatically use it forevermore; true permanent change takes time, perseverance, and support from the leadership.7Question 2What is evidence, and how do we collect it objectively?Lets move on to Question 2: What is evidence, and how do we collect it objectively?8What is Evidence?The available body of facts or information

indicating whether a belief or proposition is true

or valid.

-Dictionary.comEvidence consideredThe teacher is Proficient in the teaching standard.Before beginning, we need to determine: What is evidence? Take a moment to define the term for yourself.

Now lets take a look at an actual definition. This definition is important for two reasons. First, evidence is based on a belief or proposition. In this case, the belief or proposition is that the teacher is Proficient in the standards for effective teachers. Evidence, therefore, should be either fact- or information-based and indicate whether that proposition is true. 9Focus of EvidenceSTANDARDS & INDICATORSTeacher PracticeStudent LearningWhen we think about evidence, we need to remember to frame everything through the lens of the standards and their indicators. Once we have that framework, we then need to concentrate on two specific things: (1) teacher practice and (2) its effect on student learning.10Evidence in ObservationsIs standards-basedCan include both examples of meeting or not meeting the expectationDoes not include judgment3-4 observations a year = less than 1% of overall teaching timeObservations = snapshotsWhen evaluators do observations in classroom, they should strive to ensure that their evidence:

Is standards-based. Well refer shortly to the Teacher Performance Evaluation System standards for Virginia in order to determine what this means.Evidence can include both examples of the teacher meeting or not meeting the expectation for the standard.It should not include judgmentsin Virginias Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, it is highly recommendated that individual observations are not rated, and that ratings are reserved for summative evaluations only. The reason for this is simple: even if we observe 3-4 classes a year for a single teacher, thats still less than 1% of overall time the teacher spends instructing students.

11Main Areas for Evidence Collection during ObservationsStandard 1: Professional KnowledgeStandard 2: Instructional PlanningStandard 3: Instructional DeliveryStandard 4: Assessment of/for Learning (formative assessment)Standard 5: Learning EnvironmentStandard 6: ProfessionalismStandard 7: Student Academic ProgressHere we see a list of all seven standards included in Virginias Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers. While we can collect evidence on all the standards during an observation, the four standards in which we will be able to collect the most evidence are in blue, and they are Professional Knowledge, Instructional Delivery, Assessment of/for Learning, and the Learning Environment. Evidence an evaluator will collect about instructional planning, professionalism, or student academic progress will generally be limited. Likewise, information about how teachers use summative assessment will probably also be limited. For standards 2, part of standard 4, 6, and 7, it is usually recommended that evaluators collect evidence from different sources of data, such as documentation logs compiled by the teacher. For this presentation today, we are going to focus mainly on those standards for which evidence is most easily collected in observations.

Lets look more closely at the indicators for Standards 1, 3, 4, and 5 in order to better understand the types of tangible behaviors were looking for during an observation.

12How do we collect evidence objectively?How do we collect evidence around our standards in an objective way?13Documenting Evidence TipsAvoid terms that express judgment (neat classroom, fun activity, caring attitude)Avoid words that imply, but do not specify, quantity (most, few, several)Stick to the five sensesRemember Who, What, When, Where, How

Tips for documenting evidence include:

Avoid terms that express judgment (messy classroom, fun activity, caring attitude)For instance, consider that if you were a teacher, you would want to know WHY the evaluator considered the classroom messy.Avoid words that imply quantity (most, few, several)Stick to the five sensesFor instance, what did you actually see or hear?Remember Who, What, When, Where, HowAs an evaluator, you do not have to describe everything, but the more descriptive you are, the more teachers will get from the feedback and the more evidence you will have for the summative rating.14How can this evidence be improved?3.3Differentiates instruction to meet students needs.

Spent the majority of the time on whole class instruction for math though several of the students demonstrated proficiency on the long division process in the first few minutes of class.How much?How many?How?Lets look at some evidence provided by an administrator. This evidence is for Standard 3: Instructional Delivery, and has been correlate