Individualized Professional Learning Plan

Top 4 Benefits of Individualized Professional Learning Plans

Last week we discussed the ineffective use of scripting for teacher observations. This week, we’ll focus on a component of a more effective teacher evaluation model: Individualized Professional Learning Plans.   You’re probably asking yourself, “So what, exactly, is an individualized professional learning plan?”. Individualized professional learning plans are an individualized, focused, and on-going means […]

Top 3 Problems with Scripting for Teacher Evaluations

While most people generally agree that teachers must be held accountable, the current system of teacher evaluations doesn’t really do that.  Scripting, although ineffective at delivering significant improvement, has been one of the most widely used tools for teacher evaluations, largely because of the common misconceptions surrounding the practice. So what, exactly, is scripting? Scripting involves recording […]

Teacher Evaluation Reflecting Time

Self-Reflection in Schools – A Lost Art?

Summer seems like the perfect time to do some self-reflection on the school year. The hustle and bustle of grading, lesson planning, meeting, and instructing is over, and there is finally time to think about what worked and what didn’t. However, reflection shouldn’t wait until June. Even though it can be tempting to put it […]

students, video observations

Teacher Video Observations for a Changing World

The most transformative device of the 21st century, and arguably in all of human history, was created in 2007.  The first generation iPhone introduced us to a new wave of technology called smartphones.  It’s slogan was, “This is only the beginning…”.  How right were they?!  It’s 11 years later, and smartphones are part of our […]

teacher evaluations

When Teacher Evaluations Fail – Lessons Learned!

Last week we explored some common pitfalls of teacher evaluations. Now, let’s discuss how evaluators can avoid these pitfalls and turn teacher evaluations into an effective process for professional growth and continuous improvement.  Here’s how: Problem: Incorrect Perceptions or Just Checking Off the Boxes – In this scenario, the evaluator placed dots on a page […]

Teacher Evaluation, Teacher Coaching

When Teacher Evaluations Fail Teachers

I’ve been an English teacher for 23 years, so I’ve participated in numerous teacher evaluations. While some of these have encouraged growth and improvement, others have been what my students would call a “fail.” Educators today, like yourself, often voice frustration at their evaluation processes. I reached out to some other educators and explored their teacher […]

iAspire Reflect

Using Videos During Teacher Observations Part 4 – Introducing iAspire Reflect

In our previous three posts, we have discussed my own personal struggles with the teacher observation process, creating an environment where teachers self reflect, and sharing a wonderful resource called the Best Foot Forward Project from the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.    Properly evaluating teachers where a focus is on concrete evidence (video) can be a […]

Teacher Evaluation

Using Videos During Teacher Observations Part 3 – Helping You Get Started

“The reflection that I did myself, when I videoed, offered me more opportunity for growth than anything an outsider could do for me. Watching my kids, what went on in my room, how I handled it, and things I said—that was more important than any sit-down that I could have with anybody [else]. ” Best […]

Video Self Reflections

Using Videos During Teacher Observations Part 2 – Teacher Self Reflection

Last week I spent some time talking about my own personal struggles when completing observations.  As a quick recap, these difficulties included an inability to notice, and capture, everything that happened in the classroom, the difficulty in remembering and recalling the specific details of each lesson when in an observation conference with a teacher, and […]

Video Observations Part 1

Using Videos During Teacher Observations Part 1 – My Own Struggles

We have noticed an interesting yet exciting trend in recent years with regard to teacher evaluations.  Many schools, districts, and organizations have been incorporating coaching (or aspects of it) into the evaluation process.  Most notably, the idea of collegial conversations focused on ongoing, incremental growth has been a noticeable trend. You may have heard the […]

SMART Goal Setting Teacher Education

6 Best Practices for Professional Growth Goals

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar For many of you, another school year has come and gone.  Have you reflected on what professional or organizational goals you and your staff accomplished?  If you haven’t, you’re not alone.  A study in 2016 found that only 8% of people set and achieve their […]

5 Best Practices for Classroom Walkthroughs

[Infographic] 5 Best Practices for Classroom Walkthroughs

Our blog post on the 5 best practices for classroom walkthroughs was so popular, we decided to turn it into this easy-to-share infographic.  There’s nothing better than a simple, concise visual reference.  As they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words! Resources: http://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/turnaround-principles/classroom-walkthrough-development-samples.pdf http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/dec07/vol65/num04/Classroom_Walk-Throughs.aspx https://www.naesp.org/resources/2/Principal/2009/M-A_p30.pdf http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2016/04/the_myth_of_walkthroughs_8_unobserved_practices_in_classrooms.html https://www.amazon.com/Advancing-Three-Minute-Walk-Through-Mastering-Reflective/dp/1412964571

Teacher Observations

Infographic – 5 Best Practices for Teacher Observations

Just two weeks ago, we published a blog post highlighting 5 best practices for teacher observations. It was so popular, we decided to turn it into a simple infographic to share with others! Sources: https://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/implementation-support-unit/tech-assist/usingobservationstoImproveteacherpractice.pdf http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/TeachrAssmntWhtPaperTransform10_2.pdf http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/04/20/charlotte-danielson-on-rethinking-teacher-evaluation.html https://networkforpubliceducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/NPETeacherEvalReport.pdf

Best Practices for Classroom Walkthroughs

5 Best Practices for Classroom Walkthroughs

Of all the different components to the various teacher evaluation frameworks out there, the most misused piece is often the classroom walkthrough. It’s no surprise given there’s much less discussion and research on classroom walkthroughs compared to formal observations. In fact, if you googled walkthrough right now you’d get results mostly about video games! In […]

Best Practices for Teacher Observations

Best Practices for Teacher Observations

With so many different frameworks and models for classroom observations out there, it’s no wonder why a large number of educators expressed confusion and frustration with classroom observation and teacher evaluation processes in a 2016 report from the Network for Public Education.  The U.S. Department of Education also indicated as much in their 2015 report […]

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