Presentation on theme: "Some mediocre practices"— Presentation transcript:
1 Doing Classroom Supervision Right SAM, Florida – Kim Marshall – January 30, 2015
2 Some mediocre practices Teacher texting or doing during classGoing over bell work for the first 25 minutesRound-robin readingTeacher lecturing, students tuned out, heads downTeaching while side conversations go onThe COPWAKTA syndromeAccepting one-word answers and moving onLow-quality worksheets, lots of dreary test prepOne-week delay getting work back to studentsFinishing a class early and giving students “free time”With all of these, the “Matthew Effect”
3 How much poor and mediocre teaching in your school? A lotQuite a bitHere and thereVery littleNoneNot sureAnswer Now
4 After hiring, what brings about continuous improvements in teaching? A culture of purpose, possibility, and high expectationsFeedback, coaching, and supportTeacher teamwork planning curriculum unitsTeacher teamwork analyzing student assessmentsEffective professional developmentFeedback from studentsAn effective evaluation process?
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.
6 MINI-OBSERVATIONSSupervisors having a way to see the daily reality of classrooms:UnannouncedFrequentShortSystematicSupervisors having a good eye for teaching and learning:5. Humble6. Perceptive and able to decide what’s most important7. Keeping in mind teacher goals, unit plans, and dataAn effective way to share insights with teachers:Face-to-faceCourageousFollow-up documentation
7 Are mini-observations being used in your school? Yes, systematically with all teachersQuite a lot, but not systematicOn a limited basisAlmost neverAnswer Now
8 What might worry teachers about mini-observations? What concerns would you predict (or have you heard)?What push-back?Rational and irrationalList as many as you can.
9 MINI-OBSERVATIONSSupervisors having a way to see the daily reality of classrooms:UnannouncedFrequentShortSystematicSupervisors having a good eye for teaching and learning:5. Humble6. Perceptive and able to decide what’s most important7. Keeping in mind teacher goals, unit plans, and dataAn effective way to share insights with teachers:Face-to-faceCourageousFollow-up documentation
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.
11 1. UnannouncedThis causes anxiety – a shift of focus with another adultFundamental attribution error – judging vs. understandingBut essential to getting an accurate appraisal of teaching:“Trust but verify”Honest quality assurance, believable praise and coachingOne more reason for teachers to bring their A gameApple grant criterion…But to be fair, unannounced visits must be…
12 2. Frequent Sufficient sampling to see daily classroom reality. Need to see different times of day, days of the weekBeginning, middle, and end of lessonsDifferent elementary subjects, different secondary classesEnough for teachers and students to get used to visitsEnough to coach and praise frequentlyEnough to put together an accurate picture of the year10 per teacher per year seems like a reasonable number.
17 To see them for who they really are. A Connecticut superintendentShe’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 7th-grade teacher
18 “Do the math” for your school # of teachersMinis for year# per dayStretch goal606003.34505002.73404002.2303001.72202001.110100.61
19 Delegation? What I should have done at Mather With multiple supervisors, several possible modelsEach takes a portion of the staffSplit up, then rotate at mid-yearCo-observing all yearAPs split, principal does everyone more brieflyPeer observers part of the mixIn small buildings, involving lead teachers?
20 3. Short – How long in a classroom to form a meaningful impression? 1 minute3 minutes5 minutes10 minutes15 minutes20 minutes25 minutes35 minutes45 minutes1 hour or moreAnswer Now!
21 Best amount of time for mini-observations: 10-15 minutes Depending on:How many teachersHow many administrators doing minisHow busy the school isNote: no pre-observation conferencesSee Madeline Hunter’s 1986 article (MM 464)Maybe spot-check lesson plans during minis
22 What would be the best combination. (assuming a total of 100 mins What would be the best combination? (assuming a total of 100 mins./teacher)33 visits, three minutes each20 visits, five minutes each10 visits, ten minutes each5 visits, twenty minutes each2 visits, fifty minutes eachOtherAnswer Now!
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 lessonThe rest of the time, lots of mini-observationsBut in many schools, this is a leap of faith.Let’s get into more details.
24 4. Systematic The challenge: keeping up a steady pace year-long A daily targetA weekly targetA checklistBlocking out “sweet spots” in the day for visitsPoker chips in pocketSeeing results in classroomsRewarding oneselfSecretary reminding – texting?Superintendent asking, supportingOthers?
25 Keeping trackTwo styles: visits in daily schedule vs. fluid, on-the-goA checklist of classroom visits is essential:EquitySeeing beginning, middle, and end of lessonsSeeing different subjects (elem.) or classes (secondary)Natural tendency to avoid certain classroomsCombating the tendency toward binge mini-observing
26 Other points of contact Mini-observations don’t tell the whole story:Teacher teamworkFaculty meetingsProfessional developmentParent interactionsTutoring, clubs, study groups, community workGlimpses of these fill out the picture.
27 MINI-OBSERVATIONSSupervisors having a way to see the daily reality of classrooms:UnannouncedFrequentShortSystematicSupervisors having a good eye for teaching and learning:5. Humble6. Perceptive and able to decide what’s most important7. Keeping in mind teacher goals, unit plans, and dataAn effective way to share insights with teachers:Face-to-faceCourageousFollow-up documentation
29 The supervisor is visiting the teacher’s “home” Tentative stance – there’s a lot the visitor doesn’t know.Be “present”, look attentive, interestedThings that some teachers find annoying or distracting:Visitors talking to students during frontal instructionTexting or talking on a phoneObservers whispering to each otherSitting in the teacher’s chairAsking the teacher a questionBe unobtrusive, don’t distort what’s being observed.
30 When should supervisors get involved? If he/she wants to contribute an ideaIf the teacher is not being clearIf the teacher makes an errorIf a student is misbehavingIf a student asks for helpSome of the aboveOnly if safety is an issueAnswer Now!
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.
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 rubricContent-specific: Specialized subject-area, grade level, best done by an instructional coach or peer observerWhat’s getting in the way of thoughtful observations?Checklists and rubricsElectronic data-gatheringSuperficiality
33 What is the supervisor’s goal? Documentation, evaluation, and complianceImproving teaching and learning
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:
35 S - Safety O - Objectives T - Teaching E - Engagement L - Learning
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 hatDecide on the 1-2 things to praise or ask about.Bite-sized, actionable chunks to spur growthDirectly connected to student learningHigh-leverage
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
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)
39 Do you need to be persuaded that short visits are very, very informative? Convince me – I’m very skeptical.I’m on the fence.No, I believe it.Mini-observations are the only way to go.Answer Now!
40 Which will produce the most accurate, perceptive, and helpful information? Detailed hand-written notes during the classDetailed scripting on a laptopDetailed scripting on a tabletScoring on a rubric during the class (paper or electronic)Filling out an electronic checklist such as eCoveFilming with an iPhoneObserving and jotting a few quick notesObserving and, after leaving, writing some notesAnswer Now
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 yearAre familiar with the unit plan that this lesson is part ofKnow how students did on recent assessments and what the teacher is working on improvingRemember key points from previous mini-observationsAll this greatly improves the supervisor’s “eye”
43 MINI-OBSERVATIONSSupervisors having a way to see the daily reality of classrooms:UnannouncedFrequentShortSystematicSupervisors having a good eye for teaching and learning:5. Humble6. Perceptive and able to decide what’s most important7. Keeping in mind teacher goals, unit plans, and dataAn effective way to share insights with teachers:Face-to-faceCourageousFollow-up documentation
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 visitIn a strategic locationA two-way conversation, really listening to the teacher“Growth-evoking” coachingFollow-up: documentation, return visits, peer coaching, PD, curriculum planning, PLC data work
45 Best location for mini feedback? Principal’s officeCorridorPlaygroundTeacher’s classroom, students not aroundCafeteriaFaculty loungeParking lotA bar after hoursA phone call in eveningOtherAnswer Now
46 Face-to-face feedback is the driver of change Can quickly and efficiently cover a lot of groundTeachers can fill in missing informationIt’s less threatening, less bureaucraticSupervisors can use cognitive coaching skillsCan differentiate feedback for each teacherThe teacher can push back, advocate for their pedagogyCan judge if it’s a bad moment to be criticalCan segue into general talks about instruction, status
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?”
48 A good closing question to the teacher “What was your big take-away?”
50 Low standards, lack of guts Want to keep the peace, avoid conflict, be likedFear of grievances, lengthy proceedingsAfraid of jeopardizing other initiatives.Wait for them to retire.And some teachers are scary…
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 mattersUrgency – every minute countsA good eye – knowing mediocre, poor practicesGutsHow to keep a strong moral edge?The superintendent pushing relentlessly, co-observingRegularly look at interim assessment results
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 opinionImprovement planA timeline for improvementSupport, coaching
54 10. Follow-up documentation For nine years, I gave only face-to-face feedback.Alex Estrella changed my mind. Her process:Mini-observationFace-to-face conversationA short paragraph to the teacher summing upWritten documentation serves two functions:Some teachers need written reinforcement.It legitimizes mini-observations.The danger: writing too much, not enough visits
55 A software solution A net-based program: T-EVAL www.t-eval.com Created by three school administrators in TennesseeKeeps track of mini-observations and follow-up debriefs, rubric scoring, teacher self-assessment, goal-setting1,000-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
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
57 Which gives school leaders the best information for teachers’ evaluations? 1-2 full-lesson observations with pre- and post- conferences and write-ups10 mini- observations with face-to-face talks and brief write-upsAnswer Now!
59 Ten big payoffs from mini-observations See reality, a true sense of what’s going on in classroomsMulti-tasking: observations, visibility, problem-preventionEmbedded PD, blending coaching, supervision, evaluationCoaching is more effective one point at a time, spread out.Less stressful for teachers, builds skills and self-efficacyOne more reason for teachers to bring their A gamePick up neat ideas, anecdotes, cross-pollinate, better PDCredibility with parents and superiors; protects teachersHumility Authenticity Credibility Trust ImpactGather information for end-of-year evaluations
60 How would you personally feel about being supervised using mini-observations? Strongly prefer this approachPrefer itNo difference one way or the otherUncomfortable with itVery critical of it5Answer Now!
61 How much impact would this have on teaching and learning? Very positiveSomewhat positiveNot much impactNo impactNegative impact5Answer Now!
62 Let’s face it, this is challenging Explaining it in a way that will convince teachersThe constant tug of H.S.P.S. – recovering, not recoveredThe trapped-in-the-office spiralWorries about content knowledge, tough conversationsDifficulty tracking down teachers.Time for each mini: (later) = 30 minutesBut is anything more important?“I made it my business.”
63 Barriers to successful implementation? What would prevent your school from using mini-observations?What steps could be taken?
64 Contact informationKim’s Marshall Memo website for rubrics and articles (click on Kim Publications):