Thursday, November 13, 2014

Unannounced Observation Reminder

At this point in the year our evaluators across the district are involved in completing unannounced observations for the teachers who they evaluate. With this in mind, it is helpful to review the process a bit since we are entering the first year where all staff members will be evaluated under the Massachusetts Teacher Evaluation Model. 

During the unannounced visits, evaluators will be using a form that contains the top six elements of the Burlington Great Eight (Subject Matter Knowledge Rigorous Standards-Based Unit DesignWell-Structured Lessons Adjustment to Practice, Student Engagement, Student Motivation). This form is an adaptation of this form created by the Massachusetts Teachers' Association

Following the unannounced observation, the observer will determine the appropriate evidence rating on each of the elements and the educator's student learning goal and then complete an electronic version of the form that will be shared with the educator.  The evaluator will also highlight one strength and one area of possible improvement from the observation.  

Since the unannounced observations are meant to be short visits to classrooms (lasting about 10-15 minutes), it is expected that some of the elements will not be observed.  In these instances the "Not Applicable" determination will be given. Please remember that this is not a negative determination because it means that there was nothing observable during that short unannounced observation. The negative determination would actually be "Contradictory Evidence" because it means that the teacher observed was actually doing something to show a lack of proficiency in a particular area.

The expectation is that the vast majority of unannounced observations will be comprised of "Clear Evidence" and "Partial Evidence" determinations.  The definitions of each determination are below:
Clear Evidence (E): During the observation, I saw clear evidence of the educator’s proficiency on the indicator.  The guide will be the Proficient definition on the rubric.

Partial Evidence (P): During the observation, I saw partial evidence of the educator’s proficiency on the indicator.  The guide will be the Proficient and Needs Improvement definitions on the rubric.

Contradictory Evidence (C):  During the observation, I saw evidence that the educator clearly lacked proficiency on the indicator.  The guide will be the Proficient and Unsatisfactory definitions on the rubric.

Not Applicable (N): During the observation, the educator’s practice did not include elements defined in the indicator.  This is not a negative rating, but rather an acknowledgement that the indicator was not addressed.

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