Presentation on theme: "University of Mount Union ED607. Marshall Started as a sixth grade teacher in an urban school where he taught for eight years. Took a grant-funded."— Presentation transcript:
University of Mount Union ED607
Marshall Started as a sixth grade teacher in an urban school where he taught for eight years. Took a grant-funded position as an Education Coordinator for two years, hoping he could make important changes to what he called, “fragmented curriculum” (p. 13). Attended Harvard Graduate School Worked on Boston Superintendent transition team in the Central Office for six years. Held principal position for fifteen difficult years
› Afraid of the supervisor who was very critical of his teaching › Lacked support or direct feedback › Isolation › Invited a professor from Harvard to observe his class who too was critical. › Administrators unable to support or offer help.
Strong instructional leadership High expectations Focus on basics Effective use of test data A safe and humane climate › Marshall (2013), (p. 8-9). Could there be anything missing?
Marshall (2013)also stated “..had I reflected more carefully on the preceding seventeen years when I was a teacher, graduate student and central office administrator, I might have anticipated some of the bumps that lay ahead” (p. 7). Low Expectations by staff Resistant Culture that took years to turn around Teacher Isolation, weak teamwork Curriculum Anarchy › weak alignment between teaching and assessment Differing grading criteria Not looking at what students were learning › evaluation of teacher via student outcome not allowed Supervising evaluation only saw a small portion of a teacher’s work. Planned observations change the behavior of all in the room Marshall (2013) “convinced supervising and evaluation was his core role as an instructional leader” (p. 7).
Standards and good assessments Curriculum & Achievement Goals Community wake up call › students had to pass tenth grade Reading and Math MCAS to graduate (p. 16). Marshall questions his Harvard Professor’s Formula › missing important components of standards and assessments. Marshall (2013), however, believes, “standards are not enough we need to radically improve teacher supervision, curriculum planning, interim assessments and teacher evaluation” (p. 18).
Marshall suggests that supervision and evaluation are key levers for improving teacher performance › He also suggests that there are problems with the current system › Marshall notes that in a survey he conducted, no teachers cited end-of-year evaluations as a way they improved their teaching to improve student learning. The top two types of feedback teachers use to judge teaching improvement was through; #1 student feedback and #2 natural talent and ingenuity (see figure 2.1)
Marshall states (2013) “Most teachers do the right thing most of the time, but when teachers are left alone, mediocrity happens” (p. 21). › Essentially, the current system leaves teachers being evaluated only once a year – if that, lending towards the tendency for a dog-and-pony show when they are evaluated Especially if the evaluations are announced › There are 4 ways for administrators to avoid the tendencies of teachers to slip into mediocrity 1. Hire well 2. Pay teachers well and give them respect 3. Create working conditions conducive to learning 4. EVALUATE more EFFECTIVELY
According to Marshall, supervision has 5 core functions › Appraisal › Affirmation › Improvement › Housecleaning › Quality Assurance This is the focus of Marshall’s book – using supervision and evaluation to improve teaching and student learning “A broken teacher supervision and evaluation process widens America’s achievement gap” (Marshall, p. 22).
Marshall highlights 7 key design flaws in the supervision & evaluation model we have been using for the last several decades: › There is no shared definition of good teaching: the forms/checklists used in evaluations do not “foster an honest, open, and pedagogically sophisticated dialogue between principals and teachers” (p. 24). › The principal only sees a fraction of teachers’ work: If, according to Marshall, teachers plan and teach approximately 900 lessons/year – a principal is likely to only see one lesson taught in a year (if that) per teacher, then principals are only observing.1% of a teacher’s teaching in a year This leaves teachers in isolation for 99.9% of the time
› The principal’s presence changes what happens in the classroom: Because many evaluations are announced in advance, teachers & students are able to show an atypical lesson to impress the principal A dog-and-pony show Not indicative of the teaching & learning that usually takes place › Full-lesson write-up rarely change anything: Marshall identifies four problems with full-lesson write-ups. They include: Because principals are writing so much, they miss a lot This is just a glimpse of the overall quality of the teacher’s work Often avoid answering the “big-picture” question – “How am I doing?” They are difficult to do well › The process is time consuming: Because writing evaluations takes so much time, Marshall puts principals into 3 categories Saints – go by the book and allow evaluations to consume their lives until they are finished Cynics – have lost faith in the system and do not believe their write-ups will produce any improvements in teaching Sinners - don’t do most evaluations and only write up the most ineffective teachers
› Teachers are passive recipients of evaluations and are in isolation from colleagues: Evaluations are usually viewed as a top down approach which does not involve participation on the teacher’ part Many teachers do not have much respect for the process Teachers often reject or ignore the feedback offered › Student learning is not part of the process: Due to contractual restraints and the essence of the evaluation process, principals are often focusing on teaching inputs vs. learning outcomes Because evaluation doesn’t focus on student learning, principals are unable to help teachers excel Marshall’s solution – use test scores to evaluate teachers That being said, Marshall also notes the pitfalls of using standardized tests to evaluate teachers Bottom line – student learning should be at the forefront of teacher evaluations
How supervision and evaluation should work : › Principals and teachers have a shared understanding of good teaching › Principals are in classrooms often and see everyday teaching in action › Principals are knowledgeable and perceptive of others › Teachers get frequent feedback and coaching › Teachers trust the process and engage with the feedback, not just individually but in teams › Principal address mediocre and ineffective teaching › Student learning is central to the process (p. 41).
Not all teachers were appreciative of Marshall’s detailed, ongoing feedback › School’s union felt Marshall was overstepping with “evaluative” write-ups which were only to be done at the end of the year (p. 43). Turned to making end-year evaluations “more meaningful” (p. 43). › But became either a dog-and-pony show, safe lesson, or distrustful critiques › “Wasn’t it absurd and unfair…for a teacher’s official ‘grade’ to turn on one lesson?” (p. 44).
“Drive-by visits” (p. 44). › Regular instruction was disrupted › Could not focus on student work /curriculum › No concrete or effective results › Anxiety rose among teachers HSPS addiction › Being very busy with lots of little stuff › Trapped in office, constant crisis, interruptions, difficult to focus, only required evaluation, little feedback, misses a lot › “Teachers are mostly on their own and get used to working in isolation, which means that mediocrity flourishes in all too many classrooms” (p. 46). › Marshall called himself “a walking, talking gap-widener” (p. 46).
Inspired by: Physical education teacher who announced teachers’ feeling unappreciated at a staff meeting. Based on the beliefs that: 1. Teachers, even good teachers, need reassurance (needing specific classroom examples) 2. Giving all positive comments is proving dishonesty 3. Teachers need “candid criticism” to improve Put into action: › Frequent, brief, unannounced, prompt feedback, non-threatening, open- communication, and briefing teachers before launching › Difficultly pulling away from HSPS › Goal to visit each staff member 19 times each › Nerves kicking in- outside of Marshall’s comfort zone *Note: not to be confused with a “walk-through” as mini observations are more individualized and have a connotation of spending more time in the classroom (p. 56).
Only 5 minutes! › Enough time to slow down and catch significant moments › Teachers staying on task › Able to decide “teaching point” › Most teachers found it routine/ non-threatening › Ability to praise small victories or creative lessons › Flexibility with visit time › Able to visit 4-5 teachers per day using “nooks and crannies” of the day (p. 49). › Creating an opportunity for helping teachers improve, enriching collegial relationships, and to talk about events in their classrooms › Seeing students in a positive setting (rather than disciplining) › More insightful during staff & grade level meetings “What strikes me in here? What’s interesting, different, or problematic? What is worth sharing with the teacher? What will give this teacher insight?” (p. 48).
Meeting with teachers › Meeting informally with teachers to have short, but meaningful conversations (Marshall did not want to call teachers to his office) Sometimes took days to catch up and caused some teachers anxiety over a weekend Talking to teacher to “check them off rather than impart an interesting insight on their teaching” (p. 50). Some visits are better than others › Sleep deprived, stressed, or distracted › Marshall understood mini-observations to be more meaningful during active teaching rather than days of direct instruction Come back to classes that were within transition, snack, etc. Depth › Ability to be “sharp and fresh” or “in the zone”(p.50). Tug of HSPS › Easy to get out of the groove
Record keeping › Each evening wrote a brief description of the visits on a staff list Map a Schedule › Rotate Subjects Time Management › Fit in visits between errands Focus › Get rid of other mental distractions › “When doing this…conversations were more likely to go into depth about a particular teaching moment, the goal of the lesson, how their kids were doing, and teachers’ fears and dreams.” (p. 51). Self Motivation › “Own belief that this would make a difference in teachers’ morale and effectiveness with students” (p. 51).
Marshall put feedback into these categories: › Praise › Reinforcement › Suggestions › Criticism Lead with a statement, not a question › What struck you › Concrete and descriptive › After sharing observation, a longer discussion could generate with background or post observation events resulting in compliments and/or suggestions Sharing resources › Articles, websites, etc. encourages action
Support › Mini-observations helped form an impression on teachers and background › Identify teachers who need the support Teacher Response › End-of-year questionnaire Mini-observations: “Perceptive, gave me insights, honest, affirmed my teaching, sparked discussion, helped me improve” (p. 55). Union- approved, teacher allowance to use brief observations written on official evaluations Marshall’s Core Identity › Began to give workshops to graduate school classes, published articles, etc.
Use teacher supervision and evaluations as a way to improve teaching and student learning Develop clear evaluation tools Create rapport with teachers so lines of communication can remain open Connecting external standards with good evaluations Curriculum planning and interim assessments connections Consider using mini-observations to assist teachers in enhancing their teaching and creating a better school morale Use concrete and descriptive feedback
The beginning of the blueprint for excellence as determined in chapters 1-3 would include: › Address four key areas: teacher supervision, curriculum planning, interim assessments, and teacher evaluation › Solid evaluation tools – move beyond checklists & narratives, which often do not address student learning, to rubrics › Develop a shared definition of good teaching › Perform mini-observations – the short, unannounced classroom visits which will allow administrators and teachers to work together to improve teaching and, therefore, student learning These are the just the beginnings of the blueprint for excellence!