More VA Teacher Evaluation Stuff

I know. I know. You’ve been eagerly awaiting more VA specific teacher evaluation posts. Because of that intense demand, I offer up this frame for the new VA DOE standards for teacher evaluation. Recall, if you will, what I’ve been told is an overly analytical, semi-obsessive breakdown of what the standards actually say. Based on that language, anyone want to take bets on what percent of the evaluation student learning progressions will be in 2015?

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I ignored the random assortment of items thrown under “Professionalism” and focused on the instructional items. The goal was to figure out when you’d really see these skills being practiced. I’m claiming three observational windows- planning, delivery, and reflection (and after your first lesson ever, reflection and planning ought to become conjoined twins)1.

I would argue that often we observe instruction and claim we can then figure out what happend in planning. I don’t think that’s the case. More energy and time needs to spent working with people when they are planning. Prior to putting these thoughts into action, we need to see what connections are being made, what information is being considered, etc. Looking at the end and trying to work backwards seems to encourage assumptions and mistakes on the part of the evaluator. People also seem to defend actions more vigorously when they’ve already occurred. It also seems like this would help isolate variables. Now you’d know if planning was straight, rather than guessing, and could move on to implementation.

Watching Prince playing the guitar towards the end of the video below may help erase thoughts of teacher evaluation from your mind forever.


1 This may be me claiming loudly that water is wet.

Comments on this post

  1. Karen Richardson said on February 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    And I know that you’ve just been waiting for an excuse to read my dissertation since it was about researching teacher planning practices! It seemed to me as a professional developer that planning was where I could tell if I had had any influence on teacher practice because that’s where the change would begin, as they thought about how they were going to teach a particular lesson to a particular group of student.

    • Tom Woodward said on February 13, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      Sounds good and right to me. It seems the general focus now is to look at only teaching and test scores. I will cite your work as proof that’s a mistake.

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