As former teachers, coaches, principals and district leaders, we understand growing teacher practice is hard. That's why we've set out to permanently impact how all educators involved in teacher growth are supported. We shared a lot of information in 2016--in case you missed anything, we've pulled together our top 6 posts from this year:
Teachers spend the vast majority of their instructional time as the only adult in a classroom full of students, so evaluating their performance is an ongoing challenge. One thing is clear, though: The best teachers crave feedback.
Calibration is critical at all levels of a district, but a special emphasis on consistency among school leaders, coaches and observers at school sites is paramount. Inconsistently applied observation and evaluation tools can undermine professional development and human capital systems as well as erode confidence and trust among teachers in building-level leadership.
In moving towards every K-12 educator’s shared goal of ensuring that students who earn a high school diploma are truly prepared for college and careers, the Secretary of Education suggested that one of the practical steps state educational leaders can take is to revisit their teacher evaluation process.
So what does it take to create a video observation and coaching system—formal or informal? At this point you’ve got two options to put these pieces together: do it yourself with free apps or subscribe to an off-the-shelf platform. From my experience as a teacher and working in a central district office, “free” never really means free.
As part of a multi-year study of over 400 educators across the country, the Best Foot Forward Project from Harvard's Center for Education Policy Research studied educators' experience using video technology for observation and feedback. Specifically, they sought to determine whether or not video technology can make classroom observation processes easier to implement, less costly, more valid and reliable, and more acceptable to teachers and administrators.
Here’s how using video in teacher feedback, coaching and evaluation is essential not just for school administrators, but for teachers, instructional coaches, observers, and district leaders, too.