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Doing Classroom Supervision Right SAM, Florida – Kim Marshall – January 30, 2015 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Doing Classroom Supervision Right SAM, Florida – Kim Marshall – January 30, 2015 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Doing Classroom Supervision Right SAM, Florida – Kim Marshall – January 30,

2 Some mediocre practices Teacher texting or doing during class Going over bell work for the first 25 minutes Round-robin reading Teacher lecturing, students tuned out, heads down Teaching while side conversations go on The COPWAKTA syndrome Accepting one-word answers and moving on Low-quality worksheets, lots of dreary test prep One-week delay getting work back to students Finishing a class early and giving students “free time” With all of these, the “Matthew Effect” 2

3 How much poor and mediocre teaching in your school? 1.A lot 2.Quite a bit 3.Here and there 4.Very little 5.None 6.Not sure

4 After hiring, what brings about continuous improvements in teaching? A culture of purpose, possibility, and high expectations Feedback, coaching, and support Teacher teamwork planning curriculum units Teacher teamwork analyzing student assessments Effective professional development Feedback from students An effective evaluation process? 4

5 Huge differences in supervision and evaluation Some supervisors visit every classroom every day. * –Some rarely leave their offices. Some systematically observe and give feedback. –Some rely on an annual dog-and-pony show. Some teachers are confident that their supervisor “knows what goes on in my classroom.” –Some teachers fear their supervisor doesn’t and dread the annual evaluation. 5

6 MINI-OBSERVATIONS Supervisors having a way to see the daily reality of classrooms: 1.Unannounced 2.Frequent 3.Short 4.Systematic Supervisors having a good eye for teaching and learning: 5. Humble 6. Perceptive and able to decide what’s most important 7. Keeping in mind teacher goals, unit plans, and data An effective way to share insights with teachers: 8.Face-to-face 9.Courageous 10.Follow-up documentation 6

7 Are mini-observations being used in your school? 1.Yes, systematically with all teachers 2.Quite a lot, but not systematic 3.On a limited basis 4.Almost never

8 What might worry teachers about mini-observations? What concerns would you predict (or have you heard)? What push-back? –Rational and irrational List as many as you can. 8

9 MINI-OBSERVATIONS Supervisors having a way to see the daily reality of classrooms: 1.Unannounced 2.Frequent 3.Short 4.Systematic Supervisors having a good eye for teaching and learning: 5. Humble 6. Perceptive and able to decide what’s most important 7. Keeping in mind teacher goals, unit plans, and data An effective way to share insights with teachers: 8.Face-to-face 9.Courageous 10.Follow-up documentation 9

10 Supervisors can only evaluate accurately and intervene effectively if they are seeing teachers’ everyday practice, and they can do that only if their classroom visits are frequent, unannounced, brief, and systematic. 10

11 1. Unannounced This causes anxiety – a shift of focus with another adult Fundamental attribution error – judging vs. understanding But essential to getting an accurate appraisal of teaching: –“Trust but verify” –Honest quality assurance, believable praise and coaching One more reason for teachers to bring their A game Apple grant criterion… But to be fair, unannounced visits must be… 11

12 2. Frequent Sufficient sampling to see daily classroom reality. Need to see different times of day, days of the week Beginning, middle, and end of lessons Different elementary subjects, different secondary classes Enough for teachers and students to get used to visits Enough to coach and praise frequently Enough to put together an accurate picture of the year 10 per teacher per year seems like a reasonable number. 12

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17 17 To see them for who they really are. A Connecticut superintendent She’s caught me being a phenomenal teacher, and has also seen moments of shame, but ten varied visits provide her with a picture of me that is actually… me. Boston 7 th -grade teacher

18 “Do the math” for your school # of teachersMinis for year# per dayStretch goal

19 Delegation? What I should have done at Mather With multiple supervisors, several possible models –Each takes a portion of the staff –Split up, then rotate at mid-year –Co-observing all year –APs split, principal does everyone more briefly –Peer observers part of the mix In small buildings, involving lead teachers? 19

20 3. Short – How long in a classroom to form a meaningful impression? minute 2.3 minutes 3.5 minutes 4.10 minutes 5.15 minutes 6.20 minutes 7.25 minutes 8.35 minutes 9.45 minutes 10.1 hour or more

21 Best amount of time for mini-observations: minutes Depending on: –How many teachers –How many administrators doing minis –How busy the school is Note: no pre-observation conferences –See Madeline Hunter’s 1986 article (MM 464) –Maybe spot-check lesson plans during minis 21

22 What would be the best combination? (assuming a total of 100 mins./teacher) visits, three minutes each 2.20 visits, five minutes each 3.10 visits, ten minutes each 4.5 visits, twenty minutes each 5.2 visits, fifty minutes each 6.Other

23 Full-lesson observations ever? Yes, in three situations: –Rookies (ideally by instructional coaches, mentors) –Unsatisfactory teachers, by a supervisor (the skill of doing good write-ups is vital here) –If invited by a teacher to see a lesson The rest of the time, lots of mini-observations But in many schools, this is a leap of faith. Let’s get into more details. 23

24 4. Systematic The challenge: keeping up a steady pace year-long –A daily target –A weekly target –A checklist –Blocking out “sweet spots” in the day for visits –Poker chips in pocket –Seeing results in classrooms –Rewarding oneself –Secretary reminding – texting? –Superintendent asking, supporting –Others? 24

25 Keeping track Two styles: visits in daily schedule vs. fluid, on-the-go A checklist of classroom visits is essential: –Equity –Seeing beginning, middle, and end of lessons –Seeing different subjects (elem.) or classes (secondary) –Natural tendency to avoid certain classrooms Combating the tendency toward binge mini-observing 25

26 Other points of contact Mini-observations don’t tell the whole story: –Teacher teamwork –Faculty meetings –Professional development –Parent interactions –Tutoring, clubs, study groups, community work Glimpses of these fill out the picture. 26

27 MINI-OBSERVATIONS Supervisors having a way to see the daily reality of classrooms: 1.Unannounced 2.Frequent 3.Short 4.Systematic Supervisors having a good eye for teaching and learning: 5. Humble 6. Perceptive and able to decide what’s most important 7. Keeping in mind teacher goals, unit plans, and data An effective way to share insights with teachers: 8.Face-to-face 9.Courageous 10.Follow-up documentation 27

28 5. Humble 28

29 The supervisor is visiting the teacher’s “home” Tentative stance – there’s a lot the visitor doesn’t know. Be “present”, look attentive, interested Things that some teachers find annoying or distracting:  Visitors talking to students during frontal instruction  Texting or talking on a phone  Observers whispering to each other  Sitting in the teacher’s chair  Asking the teacher a question Be unobtrusive, don’t distort what’s being observed. 29

30 When should supervisors get involved? 30 1.If he/she wants to contribute an idea 2.If the teacher is not being clear 3.If the teacher makes an error 4.If a student is misbehaving 5.If a student asks for help 6.Some of the above 7.Only if safety is an issue

31 Survey teachers 1-2 times/year How often does an administrator visit your classroom? How long does he or she usually stay? How does he or she gather impressions? Do you receive feedback afterward? If so, in what form? How soon after the visit? Are you able to give your point of view? Has the feedback been helpful? Kim if you want a full suggested questionnaire. 31

32 6. Perceptive and able to decide what’s most important Two levels of supervision (BZAEDS example): – Generic: Common-sense basics of good instruction, contained in a good K-12 rubric –Content-specific: Specialized subject-area, grade level, best done by an instructional coach or peer observer What’s getting in the way of thoughtful observations? –Checklists and rubrics –Electronic data-gathering –Superficiality 32

33 33 Documentation, evaluation, and compliance Improving teaching and learning What is the supervisor’s goal?

34 “You can observe a lot by watching” Slow down, breathe, listen, walk around the room. Observe teaching, curriculum, and students. What is the learning task? –Lesson plan on teacher’s desk? What’s on the walls? Quietly ask 1-2 students, “What are you working on?” A short mental checklist of key look-fors: 34

35 S - Safety O - Objectives T - Teaching E - Engagement L - Learning 35

36 Focus on 1-2 “change levers” Don’t overwhelm the teacher with details. Don’t dwell on superficial items. –A spelling mistake, student wearing a hat Decide on the 1-2 things to praise or ask about. Bite-sized, actionable chunks to spur growth –Directly connected to student learning –High-leverage 36

37 John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach Don’t look for big, quick improvement. See the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens. And when it happens, it lasts. Quoted in The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle 37

38 Coaching messages from 3 visits Increase your radar: when you are engaging with one student, deliberately scan the room to make sure all students are on task. During the turn-and-talk, try to listen in so you can select a group who had a good discussion and an answer that you want to be heard by the whole group. Do not engage. Just give the consequence with your teacher “look” and refrain from getting into the details of why (which interrupts the flow of your lesson). You can go into the why once the rest of the group is working. Julie Jackson (for more, see Leverage Leadership p.76) 38

39 Do you need to be persuaded that short visits are very, very informative? 39 1.Convince me – I’m very skeptical. 2.I’m on the fence. 3.No, I believe it. 4.Mini-observations are the only way to go.

40 Which will produce the most accurate, perceptive, and helpful information? 1.Detailed hand-written notes during the class 2.Detailed scripting on a laptop 3.Detailed scripting on a tablet 4.Scoring on a rubric during the class (paper or electronic) 5.Filling out an electronic checklist such as eCove 6.Filming with an iPhone 7.Observing and jotting a few quick notes 8.Observing and, after leaving, writing some notes

41 7. Keeping in mind teacher goals, unit plans, and data Supervisors have “3-D glasses” in classrooms when they: –Know the teacher’s improvement goals for the year –Are familiar with the unit plan that this lesson is part of –Know how students did on recent assessments and what the teacher is working on improving –Remember key points from previous mini-observations All this greatly improves the supervisor’s “eye” 41

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43 MINI-OBSERVATIONS Supervisors having a way to see the daily reality of classrooms: 1.Unannounced 2.Frequent 3.Short 4.Systematic Supervisors having a good eye for teaching and learning: 5. Humble 6. Perceptive and able to decide what’s most important 7. Keeping in mind teacher goals, unit plans, and data An effective way to share insights with teachers: 8.Face-to-face 9.Courageous 10.Follow-up documentation 43

44 8. Face-to-face Now the supervisor is seeing daily classroom reality… But that can be wasted is there isn’t good follow-up. “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” –Ideally within 24 hours of the classroom visit –In a strategic location –A two-way conversation, really listening to the teacher –“Growth-evoking” coaching –Follow-up: documentation, return visits, peer coaching, PD, curriculum planning, PLC data work 44

45 Best location for mini feedback? 1.Principal’s office 2.Corridor 3.Playground 4.Teacher’s classroom, students not around 5.Cafeteria 6.Faculty lounge 7.Parking lot 8.A bar after hours 9.A phone call in evening 10.Other

46 Face-to-face feedback is the driver of change Can quickly and efficiently cover a lot of ground Teachers can fill in missing information It’s less threatening, less bureaucratic Supervisors can use cognitive coaching skills Can differentiate feedback for each teacher The teacher can push back, advocate for their pedagogy Can judge if it’s a bad moment to be critical Can segue into general talks about instruction, status 46

47 Debrief chats: possible openings “What were your goals for this lesson?” “How did it go? (If goals not met) “How could you close the gap?” “Here’s what I noticed…” “I was struck by…” “Tell me something you hoped I would notice.” “Tell me a little about what was going on before my visit.” “I’m curious about what happened after I left.” “I noticed Helene is really buckling down and working.” “What worked best? What could be tweaked?” “Did you get your intended results?” “Can we look through those exit tickets?” 47

48 A good closing question to the teacher “What was your big take-away?” 48

49 9. Courageous 49

50 Low standards, lack of guts Want to keep the peace, avoid conflict, be liked Fear of grievances, lengthy proceedings Afraid of jeopardizing other initiatives. Wait for them to retire. And some teachers are scary… 50

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52 A leader who is silent on mediocrity speaks loudly Some teachers get into bad habits, slack off. Addressing mediocre and poor teaching depends on: –Belief – good teaching really, really matters –Urgency – every minute counts –A good eye – knowing mediocre, poor practices –Guts How to keep a strong moral edge? –The superintendent pushing relentlessly, co-observing –Regularly look at interim assessment results 52

53 Unsatisfactory performance: shift gears If ineffective teaching doesn’t improve… The teacher must know it’s unsatisfactory. –Level 1 rubric scores. –“I can help you out or I can help you OUT.” Full-lesson observations (unannounced, of course) –Another evaluator for a second opinion –Improvement plan –A timeline for improvement –Support, coaching 53

54 10. Follow-up documentation For nine years, I gave only face-to-face feedback. Alex Estrella changed my mind. Her process: –Mini-observation –Face-to-face conversation –A short paragraph to the teacher summing up Written documentation serves two functions: –Some teachers need written reinforcement. –It legitimizes mini-observations. The danger: writing too much, not enough visits 54

55 A software solution A net-based program: T-EVAL Created by three school administrators in Tennessee Keeps track of mini-observations and follow-up debriefs, rubric scoring, teacher self-assessment, goal-setting 1,000-character limit on comments; a “whalebone corset” These take minutes to write, electronically sent to teacher, who can respond (also limited to 1,000 characters) Much richer material for discussions among school leaders than checklists and rubric scoring 55

56 Sample T-EVAL write-up Good to talk to you about your 6th period English class today. What an enigma! The lesson was perfectly planned and differentiated, and yet, somehow, many of the students were not working as hard as I felt they could have. They had a set of questions to answer based on their reading of and listening to the short story, and several of the students were not actively answering the questions. You and I discussed when we met that you had also had frustrations with them not reading when you asked them to. One recommendation that I came up with was to try a timer and check in with them at intervals through the lesson. Grading their class work each day may also work. They also need a pep talk about college, as many of them are not currently passing the marking period. Finally, in some cases, I think a parent phone call and/or letter can help. The student aides can assist with this. I look forward to working with you to get these kids working well this semester. Sarah Scrogin, East Bronx Academy for the Future 56

57 Which gives school leaders the best information for teachers’ evaluations? full-lesson observations with pre- and post- conferences and write-ups 2.10 mini- observations with face-to-face talks and brief write-ups

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59 Ten big payoffs from mini-observations See reality, a true sense of what’s going on in classrooms Multi-tasking: observations, visibility, problem-prevention Embedded PD, blending coaching, supervision, evaluation Coaching is more effective one point at a time, spread out. Less stressful for teachers, builds skills and self-efficacy One more reason for teachers to bring their A game Pick up neat ideas, anecdotes, cross-pollinate, better PD Credibility with parents and superiors; protects teachers Humility  Authenticity  Credibility  Trust  Impact Gather information for end-of-year evaluations 59

60 How would you personally feel about being supervised using mini-observations? 60 1.Strongly prefer this approach 2.Prefer it 3.No difference one way or the other 4.Uncomfortable with it 5.Very critical of it Answer Now! 5

61 How much impact would this have on teaching and learning? 61 1.Very positive 2.Somewhat positive 3.Not much impact 4.No impact 5.Negative impact Answer Now! 5

62 Let’s face it, this is challenging Explaining it in a way that will convince teachers The constant tug of H.S.P.S. – recovering, not recovered The trapped-in-the-office spiral Worries about content knowledge, tough conversations Difficulty tracking down teachers. Time for each mini: (later) = 30 minutes But is anything more important? “I made it my business.” 62

63 Barriers to successful implementation? What would prevent your school from using mini- observations? What steps could be taken? 63

64 Contact information Kim’s Marshall Memo website for rubrics and articles (click on Kim Publications): 64


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