Sunday, April 6, 2014

The other half . . .

We sometimes forget about principal evaluation with all the attention given to the teacher evaluation component of TPEP.  This year we have two principals on comprehensive status using the framework from the Association of Washington Principals.  It too has eight criteria.

1. Creating a Culture: Influence, establish and sustain a school culture conducive to continuous improvement for students and staff.
2. Ensuring School Safety: Lead the development and annual update of a comprehensive safe schools plan that includes prevention, intervention, crisis response and recovery.
3. Planning with Data: Lead the development, implementation and evaluation of the data- driven plan for improvement of student achievement.
4. Aligning Curriculum: Assist instructional staff in aligning curriculum, instruction and assessment with state and local learning goals.
5. Improving Instruction: Monitor, assist and evaluate staff implementation of the school improvement plan, effective instruction and assessment practices.
6. Managing Resources: Manage human and fiscal resources to accomplish student achievement goals.
7. Engaging Communities: Communicate and partner with school community members to promote student learning.
8. Closing the Gap: Demonstrate a commitment to closing the achievement gap.

As with teacher evaluation our focus is on growth over time with an emphasis on criteria 5, Improving Instruction.  I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with these two principals in this implementation year as we learn how to make this process another positive contributor to our learning organization journey.  In our effort to gain feedback we recently asked teachers working with these two principals on comprehensive evaluations to respond to the questions and information request below.  Though a small sample, the responses reflect a positive experience and suggest that we are succeeding in our effort to maintain a focus on teacher growth.

  • Please share how your planning for and delivery of instruction has been influenced this year by my feedback and conversations with you.
  •  I have helped you grow as a teacher by . . .
  •  We know that feedback is an essential component of growth.  Please share with me any feedback that can help me grow in my capacity to support teacher growth.
  •  The area of TPEP that I found most challenging this year is . . .
  •  The area of TPEP that I found most rewarding this year is . . .

Below, are some of the responses taken from the most recent responses.  They reflect the tone and content of those given to me earlier with both positive and constructive feedback.  The information gives me additional insight into how these two principals are influencing planning and delivery as well as system information to consider as we review first year implementation of TPEP.  Please consider posting a comment if your are a principal or teacher on comprehensive this year sharing your experience.

Influenced this year . . .

  • Through the process of the comprehensive evaluation, my planning has become even more intentional than it has been in previous years. This is especially true for me in the areas of student talk and using success criteria in my classroom. Our conversations have been guided by these areas that I have been working on, which leaves me with food for thought and allows me to further question and refine lessons and their delivery. I have greatly appreciated these focused, ongoing conversations that have occurred both formally and informally. I have implemented some new ideas as a result of our conversations as well, such as assigning A-B partners for student talk on the carpet.
  • The feedback I have received as a result of his classroom visits has helped me see my teaching through the eyes of an experienced teacher/administrator. I have had both positive and constructive feedback and he has guided me to focus on a few critical areas. He has been tactful and direct so that I can efficiently focus my learning, implement strategies for improvement (e.g. how to wait when I ask questions before going right to an answer, how to randomize the process of engaging students, and how to differentiate groups to ensure fuller engagement). 

Most challenging . . .

  • This has been a year/time of big changes. The most obvious challenge is the extra stress and time it takes to complete the process. Although very valuable, it is another stress on a teacher's very complex and ever changing work. There are also some challenges with the system itself, learning how to input documents and evidence, and learning the numbering system of the criteria. I am sure that with time and practice it will become a smoother process.
  • The most challenging thing about TPEP was not knowing everything that needed to be done.  Even thoug I spent countless hours negotiating and sitting in meetings that gave me more information than most on comprehensive, we still did not have have all the answers at the start of the year and that was a challenge. As I reflect back I would have done a different growth goal that was not just a quick snapshot in time but rather a goal that could be measured and evaluated all year.

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