Sunday, March 24, 2013

Seeking clarity . . .
My last post on the Classroom 10 "elevator speech" resulted in a comment that included questions for me seeking clarity and sharing of private thoughts about teacher evaluation.

I sat through training yesterday about the TPEP and wondered why we are melding the two docs together? Is our own ego too big here? Are we not seeing the big picture, because we are holding on to the "Tahoma way." We speak of suspending ladders here in Tahoma, can I ask where are you on the ladder with the TPEP and the fact we were forced by the state to choose a system we did not create?

I'll try to answer the questions by starting with the last question on my ladder of inference related to the mandated teacher and principal evaluation process.  When we first learned of this mandate I made assumptions about why this and why now that were based on my reading about similar models across the country and the state's need to have one in place to qualify for a waiver from the requirements of NCLB.  These assumptions remain with me today as does the negative ladder that I hold about the mandate.  I am working through this issue knowing that I must be able to shift my mental models to support teachers and principals in this work.

I think it is also important to know that I view TPEP as something separate from Classroom 10.  There is, however, a part of TPEP that I view as a positive influence on our work and that is the selection of the 5D+ instructional model.  It is this model, not the TPEP process, that we are making a part of Classroom 10.  In essence, we are making 5D+ the "instructional" component of Classroom 10 because it is research based, it is more inclusive than our original work, and because of the need for coherence in our focus on classroom practice.  All of our original Classroom 10 instructional components align well with 5D+ so this transition makes sense as we strive for coherence.

I believe some of our current confusion and lack of understanding is because we have always referred to Classroom 10 as our "instructional model' when it has been much more than a vision of preparing for and delivering quality learning opportunities.  Classroom 10 has also been our vehicle to identify our beliefs around the importance of Habits of Mind and thinking skills and the Outcomes and Indicators that we believe support our young people in post high school learning and work.  We have also historically shown our belief in the importance of collaboration and our learning organization work through our Classroom 10 focus.

Integrating the 5D+ instructional model into our work results in better support for influencing classroom instruction.  It also results in better coherence because the language of our classroom instructional vision and the language of evaluation will be aligned.  It is important to remember that this work is still in draft form.  As we receive feedback and users ask questions, additional clarity will be achieved and the work will benefit from the conversations.  We will continue our search for the combination of documents that will result in common understanding and coherence for those in our school system.

So, thanks for the thoughtful comment and opportunity for clarification.  I encourage those that were engaged in last week's teacher leadership sessions to add your thinking and thoughts to assist us in moving forward with common understanding and purpose.


Unknown said...

Thanks Mike. I really appreciate your candor, especially that you told the truth. You do feel some negative feelings about being mandated rules. :) I too, feel that way at times. ;)
I also understand more of what the district is getting around too. It makes me feel better knowing that it will enhance my work. I am doing so much research on my own concerning CC and how best to engage my students next year.

Unknown said...
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