Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

Thank you for your commitment, your energy, and your focus during parent teacher conferences. In general, parents were impressed, appreciative, and are looking forward to the rest of the year.  There are, I am sure, exceptions, and from my observations, you handled these with grace and professionalism. Thank you.

Monday, 10/22 Faculty Meeting: DQ 5 What will I do to engage students?
In the interest of compacting the learning for DQ 5, please make sure to review the Action Steps in Chapter 5 (pp. 103-116) before Monday's faculty meeting.  We will be focusing on three of them, and I am confident that you utilize some of these action steps already.

Focus Groups
This year, I am interested in collecting feedback through a series of focus groups with teachers, parents, and students.  I am interested in gathering focus group feedback on how rigorous, challenging, interesting, and engaging our teaching and curriculum are.  I am also interested in gathering focus group feedback on how safe, included, recognized, and fairly treated students feel.  I am interested in how alike or different teacher, student, and parent perceptions are around these topics.

Because I am interested in a cross-section of the faculty and because I am interested in faculty voices that I do not always hear, I will be inviting members of the faculty to participate in one of two teacher focus groups.

I will not be present during these focus groups, and I will share all the focus group data once I have it from the community member who will be facilitating this groups on behalf of this project (Glenn Detrick, who donated money for the Chelsea Center at the HS).

Successful Strategies
As you read the strategies that teachers shared, you'll notice that some seem familiar and that you might use these strategies even though did not list them.  I have added some notes and the number of teachers who shared the strategy.  So the list did not become redundant, I combined some of the strategies.

I did not add Discovery or before- and after-school related strategies at this time.  Generally, we are still learning what strategies might be best for Discovery, and generally, teachers use before- and after-school time to support student achievement.

These strategies are an excellent baseline for our collection.  It is encouraging to read, I hope.  I also hope it encourages us to think further because if we are doing all of these things and students are still demonstrating patterns of poor achievement and failure, we must continue to brainstorm, to collaborate, and to work on behalf of our purpose as educators: to cause learning.

I am still collecting data on strategies that support student achievement.  However, you may read what teachers have shared so far by clicking here.

Missouri's Educator Evaluation System
I spent Thursday at a meeting with other district representatives regarding Missouri's Educator Evaluation System.  It is not required that we adopt the system as it presented on the MO-DESE web site.  However, we are in an excellent position to respond to the requirements of this system as a result of our work with The Art and Science of Teaching.  MO-DESE has created a cross walk between what it is requiring and what Marzano's system provides.  You can find this information and more by clicking here.

The work on this evaluation system at the state level is a result of SB 291 and includes Essential Principles that you can find by clicking here.  Among other things, you will notice required training and calibration on behalf of evaluators and measures of students learning as a piece of the evaluation. As a district, we are looking at how this might look (e.g. some combination of common assessments, pre- and post-assessments, district assessments, and state-level assessments).  The focus is very much on documenting improvement for every teacher every year.

Given what I am learning, we can add another compelling why to our work with Marzano.  In addition to how it supports student learning and includes actions that are a part of a quality teaching practice, this work aligns with State and (therefore) district expectations and evaluation of teachers and administrators.
There are four domains to Marzano's work. DQs 1-9 represent domain 1 (Classroom Strategies and Behaviors). DQ 10 represents domain 2 (Planning and Preparation).  Domains 3 and 4 are Reflecting on Teaching and Collegiality and Professionalism.

If you have questions, let me know.  I will give you updates as I learn about them.

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