The work this starry night is a pre-observation conference form for my first formal evaluation using Florida's new system. I wanted to show you what the pre-conference form looks like, so I printed it as a PDF from the website to give you a clear idea . I wrote long; I wanted to be thorough. Just skim it. Though you can see the links to my attachments, you can't click on them from the Scribd document.
Pre-conf From Web
It looks a lot like National Board writing doesn't it? It felt like writing for National Boards--something I've done twice now. Once to certify and once to renew my certificate.
To win Race to the Top funds Florida had to revamp teacher evaluation. The state contracted with Robert Marzano's research lab and is using iObservation. We are ranked as "innovating, applying, developing and beginning." The learning is curve is steep, but this is the landscape. There is real value in what the iObservation system demands: responsive, goal-directed teaching is but one of the valuable take-aways. Sometimes, however, the new process--because it so much to take in at once and because implementation is accelerated and immediate--feels like a sink or swim survival exercise.
Administrators first told teachers that no one would rank at the top tier. "Innovating is rare. Innovating is maybe 2% of any given population." At the beginning of the year teachers were told that no one would be scored as "innovating." No one? As we've all learned a few teachers here and there are scoring innovating on a few of the 41 elements assessed for design question 1. I can't go into the set-up in this post, but to explain quickly we're assessed across 4 domains; within the domains are several design questions; within each design question are elements or as Marzano says:
Domain 1 is based on the Art and Science of Teaching Framework and identifies the 41 elements or instructional categories that happen in the classroom. The 41 instructional categories are organized into 9 Design Questions (DQ) and further grouped into 3 Lesson Segments to define the Observation and Feedback Protocol. Copyright Robert J. MarzanoI want to achieve that top tier--in Domain 1 Classroom Strategies and Behaviors. I want to demonstrate that I think on my feet, respond to students' needs, integrate technology and differentiate instruction in innovating ways. Innovating does not mean that I know everything or that I'm 100% spot-on 100% of the time, but, to me, it means I am pioneer in my classroom, a leader, a change-agent for learning, a curriculum evangelist and an excellent teacher. I think I am, but will my students' standardized test scores say that I am? That of course is the crux of the new system.
Our new evaluation model is a 60-40 proposition this year. Sixty percent of my evaluative score will be data gathered from administrators formal and informal observations using the iObservation system from Learning Sciences International (Marzano, Daniels and Reeves). For formal observations (of which I have 1 per year based on my continuing contract status as a 19 year teacher), teachers complete a pre-conference write up, meet with their assessing administrator, do the lesson, complete a post-conference write up and meet again with the assessing administrator. Monday is my post-observation conference, so I've been working on my lesson reflection this afternoon.
Forty percent of my evaluation for the year will come from students' test scores. Teachers were told that "the State" is using a regression model to create predicted scores for schools and targeted student populations. If the predicted scores are lower than our school or students' actual scores, we win. We will have "added value" to the students academic year. If scores come in below predictions, we lose and teachers (along with administrators, guidance counselors, media specialists and other supporting faculty) will be labeled ineffective. Here's the language of the law:
"Specifically, the rules shall establish a student learning growth standard that if not met will result in the employee receiving an unsatisfactory performance evaluation rating. In like manner, the rules shall establish a student learning growth standard that must be met in order for an employee to receive a highly effective rating and a student learning growth standard that must be met in order for an employee to receive an effective rating." Florida StatutesI finished my post observation reflection--though it's not as thorough as I might like it to be. I didn't attach as much evidence (photos or documents) to it as I did the pre-conference piece. You can see it here also from Scribd.
One thing that stands out post-lesson is how Socrative.com allowed me to poll students using the exit slip and gather the results. I love how Socrative (unlike Poll Everywhere) will email me an Excel spreadsheet of the results. Here's just a clip from the file. I'm starting with students' questions on Monday as we continue to draft our position papers.
We'll see what my administrator and I talk about during my conference tomorrow. I know we have to discuss the actual lesson, but they he will also touch on domain 3 (planning) and domain 4 (collegiality and professionalism). This is my first run around this course. I'm sure it's going to be a long race.
See you Monday!