This holiday season, let’s give our hardworking teachers and principals the gift of targeted feedback.
Too often we hear teachers and administrators complain about the old observation methods: An administrator schedules a time to watch the instruction, checks a list and grades the performance.
It can be generic and focus too much on needed improvement. It also leaves little room for teachers to learn their strengths, address their weaknesses and grow as effective and successful educators for our students.
Classroom observations are critical, but unfortunately, they have become rote.
We ask our teachers for the moon, but the opportunity to provide true feedback and next-level growth is being underutilized.
Which is why the San Diego County Office of Education Learning and Leadership Services Division has partnered with the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership to host several, two-day Targeted Feedback for Teacher Growth Institutes across California.
Site administrators, teachers, instructional coaches and central office staff can come as a team to learn how to implement this dramatic shift in observing instruction and providing feedback.
What if teachers and their principals had an open dialogue before the observation to cover the teacher’s area of focus? This conversation allows the teacher to define their targeted area of growth and assists the observer in delivering meaningful feedback.
Then, short classroom observations could zoom in on specific areas or goals with attention to the impact on student response. This cycle of observation and feedback builds with each repetition, and it leads to a celebration of the teacher’s strengths as well as quality support to launch that educator to the next level.
We could begin to build close, collaborative working relationships between teachers and administrators. Our schools could be healthy work environments with a strong foundation of trust.
At the institute, observers will learn how to identify personal biases, which can cloud judgment when collecting evidence, and then practice ways to gather objective, descriptive and specific indicators of performance.
The Targeted Feedback for Teacher Growth Institute is a gift we can all appreciate, because ultimately, teacher growth and development leads to positive impacts on student learning.
The institute dates begin in early December, so register to attend today!