Teacher Evaluation

Analyzes at least two approaches to teacher evaluation in schools or school districts

For the first and second year of my school, we adopted an approach called “Formal Evaluation”. It was carried out once per semester, there are pre and post conferences for the evaluation, the teacher and the administrator who is evaluating the teacher can sit down and discuss the evaluation. For the pre-conference, the evaluator will be informing the teacher about the different aspects he/she will be evaluating, and the post-conference the evaluator will be discussing the categories the teacher has been put into and whether the teacher agrees with the placement. For the first year, there was only one administrator who was evaluating, and the second year the school decided there should be at least two evaluators doing the formal evaluation together, which I think is a good idea. And the result of the evaluation is connected to an evaluation bonus, which is divided into three categories: exemplary, satisfactory, and poor.

For the first approach, the good part is the sufficient communication and preparation, because the teacher knows month before when the formal evaluation is going to take place, he/she would undoubtedly pull up with the best lesson plan for the evaluation. And this can also be a bad side of the story, the evaluator would be seeing the best part of the teacher, which is not a genuine reflection of the teacher’s professionalism.

The third year the school decided to adopt another approach, which is doing the evaluation based on regular walk-throughs and observations done by different administrators about twice every month. And the observation will be looking at several aspects, some of which were specifically required by the school and some are from the Charlotte Danielson Framework. And the school is also asking us to do a self-evaluation based on the Charlotte Danielson Framework. And the administrator will be communicating with the teacher about the self-evaluation and observation results.

For the second approach, I think it is a more genuine reflection of the teacher because it is more of average teaching situation rather than a one-time high stake formal evaluation. The administrators will not always inform the teachers first about when he/she will show up in the teachers’ classrooms, this is also good practice to keep the teachers on task throughout the year rather than just work up for the evaluation.

Proposes elements on which you think you should be judged as a teacher

In general, I think the second approach is better because it is a combination of a scientific system(Charlotte Danielson Framework) and the actual situation of my school.

Two proposes:

  1. Peer evaluation, the school has been talking about peer evaluation for two years, unfortunately, it is not carried out with consistency. The first semester, I remember doing it twice, and then it appears to be only words on paper, nobody is pushing or supervising it. I think being in others class is always beneficial for teachers, either you learn from the good parts or you learn from mistakes.
  2. Students evaluation, my school is actually also doing some sort of students survey by letting students choose who is their favorite teacher, and I remember being top 10 out of 100 teachers last year. But this activity is rather informal, students are not doing it with a designed form and the results are not taken into consideration for the teachers’ evaluations.

Pre-Assessment for Differentiation

Pre-assessment provides valuable information about what is already known about a topic and readiness to start new instruction. Discovering prior knowledge allows the teacher to present new information at an appropriate level for the students. This process should continue throughout the learning the learning process, so lessons can be adjusted according to student need.

The following is a link of a pre-assessment I created for the Genetics unit of my Biology class:

https://play.kahoot.it/#/k/60c92749-fbb2-4529-9736-813ceeebf3df

Some other pre-assessment methods include:

  1. Concept Maps – Ask students to create a “map” of ideas connected with a topic. They should consider how the topics link to each other and use lines or “linking” words to join the concepts together and describe the relationship. They can then revisit these maps later in the study (using a different color marker to add new ideas) or draw new ones that reveal their expanded understanding.
  2. KWL Charts – K-what does the student know? W-what does the student need and want to know? L-what did the students learn? This is an effective pre-assessment tool and summative evaluation tool. The “L” can also be used the as part of an open-ended question on a test allowing the students to share the depth of knowledge that was gained in the unit of study. Click here to access a KWL Chart.
  3. Yes/No Cards – Students make a card with Yes on one side, No on the opposite side. Teachers ask an introductory or review question. Students who know the answer hold up the Yes card, if they don’t know the answer they hold the No card. This is very effective to use when introducing vocabulary words that students need as a knowledge base for a specific unit of study.

Innovative strategies

The following is a link of strategies for students at three levels of academic readiness:

https://mind42.com/public/3348aa65-7e92-4372-9ca6-69f6b94c7483

Some other strategies include:

  • Assistive Technology – Technology can be especially helpful with special needs students. Access to computers, screen readers, and voice recognition software can help many students with special needs use technology more effectively. Other educational software programs—such as talking dictionaries and talking word processing applications—provide opportunities for students to improve their spelling, reading and writing. An internet based form of Kurzweil will soon be available in our district to assist students with reading text, note taking and test taking. In addition, audio copies of textbooks will be available for students to download onto their iPods and MP3 players so they can listen to textbooks on the bus.
  • Collaborative Activities – Students learn best from their peers and many jobs require an ability to be a contributing member of a team. Time and time again it has been proven that the lower functioning group improves when working with more academically capable students. Collaboration is a skill that must be discussed before the lesson, so each group member has a clear idea of their role. It helps to give some focus questions ahead such as: Did everyone get a chance to speak and contribute? The teacher must monitor the groups to ensure that they are functioning appropriately.  
  • Cooperative Learning – Students working in cooperative groups have the benefit being exposed to the various learning strategies of others. Cooperative groups can be a comfortable place to have a voice in a small group setting and receive support from peers.
  • Explicit Modeling – Some activities such as note-taking, making connections among ideas, asking questions, project planning, and time-management may have to be taught, because special needs students are not able to make the connections on their own. This may require step by step procedures to be explained.
  • Feedback – Students with special needs often have difficulty monitoring their own progress. Giving feedback will help students to reflect on their own work.
  • Graphic Organizers – Organizing information is often a problem for students with special needs. Learning disabled students are often visual learners who respond well to information represented in graphic form. Concept maps, Venn diagrams, Cause-and-effect charts, Story Maps, T-charts, and Timelines can assist students to incorporate new knowledge. Multimedia such as pictures, charts, graphs, audio, and video can also be beneficial.
  • Leveled Reading Materials – Providing reading materials on a particular topic, but written at different levels will allow a student with a reading disability to learn about the same topic as the rest of the class.
  • Modified Directions – It is not uncommon for students to misunderstand the instructions for an assignment. Keep the directions clear and concise 
  • Multi-sensory Approach – Most new content is delivered verbally, but students have strengths in different areas. They may be great illustrators, innovative builders and and able to gather information visually on the internet. By using multi-sensory techniques to introduce new material, more of your students will retain it. 
  • Peer Tutoring – Having a peer helper can be mutually beneficial. Students with special needs can receive intensive one-on-one assistance and the peer tutor learns about different learning styles, modeling positive behaviour and empathy. Peer helpers can also assist with creating study tools, editing written assignments and with collaborative activities.
  • Visual component – Students with reading problems find pictures and symbols easier to understand. Flashcards and pictures are useful to teach sight vocabulary, safety signs and new concepts.

Reference:

  1. “7. Differentiation Techniques For Special Needs Students – Differentiation & LR Information For SAS Teachers”. Sites.google.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 22 May 2017.
  2. “5. Pre-Assessment Ideas – Differentiation & LR Information For SAS Teachers”. Sites.google.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 22 May 2017.

Multiple Perspectives

  • How lessons in your subject field can reflect the diversity of your community, region, country, or world.

My lesson about the sustainable development is a hot topic and a photo of reality in my region. The Chinese government had been putting emphasis on development, ignoring all the environmental issues that come with the development. So as long as the development could increase the GDP, the government would do everything they can to keep the development going. Now they have realized the importance of environmental protection and weighing the pros and cons when they are letting in factories. This process also happened in developed countries many years. By introducing many foreign companies and factories in this region, the teacher is showing the students the diversity of this area for sustainable development.

  • A rationale for why it is important to introduce students to multicultural content and multiple perspectives in the curriculum.

If the students only view the issue from their own cultural perspective as a developing country, their eyes will be blinded by their cultural background and they will not be able to development a comprehensive perspective in the curriculum.

  • How will you know that students are developing cultural competence in your classroom?

I would be able to tell the students are developing cultural competence if they are able to use historical events which happened before in the developed countries, if they are able to set up the story in other cultural backgrounds, and if they are able to view the project in a perspective as a person other than their own ethnic group.

Differentiating for and Anticipating Student Need

All the students I teach now are ELL learners, and their English levels vary enormously from individual to individual. So I have to keep in mind that I always plan my lesson for different English proficiency levels. I also had some kids with ADHD problems last year and the year before, and I anticipate there will be more in my future career, so I will be mainly addressing these two categories.

Differentiating for ELL Students

There has been much discussion about what constitutes appropriate content, instruction, and assessment for English language learners. As educators have grappled with this issue, it has become clear that educational parity can only be achieved if ELLs have an opportunity to learn the same rigorous academic content as native English speakers. The best way to achieve that goal is through differentiated instruction that takes into account ELLs’ English language proficiency, as well as the many other factors that can impact learning

Differentiated instruction, by definition, is an instruction that is designed to support individual students’ learning in a classroom of students with varied backgrounds and needs. For this reason, the same general principles that apply to differentiated instruction for native English speakers also apply to ELLs.

Strategies for ELL students:

  • Get to know as much as possible about each student — ELLs represent a wide range of academic skills, interests, languages, English language proficiency levels, and cultures. The more a teacher can learn about each student’s background, the better-prepared s/he is to provide appropriate instruction for that student.
  • Provide multiple types of assessment — matching assessment to students’ learning profiles and language proficiency ensures that every student has an opportunity to demonstrate what he/she knows.
  • Differentiate homework— If all students have the same homework assignments, some are doing busy work while others are struggling with work that they cannot possibly complete successfully.
  • Collaborate — Instruction is most successful when all of the professionals who work with ELLs work together.
  • Use flexible grouping — Small group instruction is a very effective way of making sure that all students can access important content, and keeping groups flexible allows teachers to match students with different peers for different types of activities.
  • Make content comprehensible for all students — Providing ELLs with alternative ways of accessing key content (e.g., charts, books written in their first language, simplified text written by the teacher, discussion, etc.) allows them to learn the same material as other students as they continue to develop their English language skills.

Differentiating for ADHD

Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a condition that can make it very difficult for a student to sit still, control their behavior, and pay attention. Students with ADD/ADHD are very capable of being successful in school given the right kind of environment. Teachers can make a world of difference for these students and help them achieve by implementing certain adaptations or interventions.

Strategies for ADHD students:

  • The use of multi-sensory activities can enhance any lesson for ADD/ADHD students. These students are often kinesthetic learners and any hands-on activity using manipulatives, computers, or audio/visual materials can help these learners process information more effectively.
  • Praise is so very important for students with ADD/ADHD and shouldn’t be understated. Praise can be an incredible motivator to help students focus and pay attention.
  • It is important to strategically position ADD/ADHD students in an area of the classroom where there will be minimal external stimuli. For example, try not to seat them near doorways or windows where they could be easily distracted. It is often very helpful to place these students next to someone who is a good role model.
  • Incentives often work well with ADD/ADHD students. These students are often very competitive and incentives can help to motivate them.
  • One way teachers can support ADD/ADHD students is to provide them with methods and tools to help them organize themselves such as the use of daily planners, assignment folders, or checklists. It is important to establish routines for object placement so that homework and assignments are completed and returned. This can also include helping these students maintain an uncluttered workspace.
  • Students with ADD/ADHD have a difficult time paying attention in a whole group, classroom setting. Therefore, when directions or instructions are provided to the class as a whole, they often only retain a portion of what is stated. By providing follow-up directions individually to these students, you can be assured they receive all of the information.

Flow Chart

flow

Flow chart from: https://goo.gl/images/HDpE5e

Reference:

  1. https://goo.gl/images/HDpE5e
  2. “Differentiated Instruction For English Language Learners | Colorín Colorado”. org. N.p., 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  3. “Strategies For Students With ADHD | Education.Com”. com. N.p., 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

Assessments

  Performance-based summative assessment

Development Debate

A large company wants to build a new factory on your town’s wetlands. Many people in the town are opposed to the idea, claiming it will disturb the local ecosystem and cause problems for residents. Others support the development, arguing that the new factory will bring jobs and money into the town. Representatives are called in to debate the issue before the town council.

Students will take on one of the stakeholders’ roles listed below. Find evidence to support that point of view and debate the issue in class. The roles are

  • Conservation ecologist
  • CEO of the company
  • Town mayor who supports the development
  • Residents of the town who lives next to the wetlands

Students make sure to:

  1. Justify your arguments with credible information.
  2. Present your arguments in a clear and convincing manner.

Suggest students review ways in which human activities can affect the environment, tell students they need to search online to find evidence to support their view. Encourage students to talk to their classmates with the same role about evidence and arguments that could be persuasive in the debate. Suggest students make lists of evidence and arguments supporting the role they have taken.

  Formative assessments

  1. A reflection about the role they have chosen or been assigned to see if they have an understanding of what are they supposed to do in the project.
  2. We can give the students one piece of paper for them to write down at least 5 arguments or evidence they found for the debate to see if students are really doing research about the development debate.
  3. A quiz about ecology vocabularies especially about sustainable development to see if they are looking at the issue in a scientific manner.

Reference:

  1. Miller, Kenneth R, and Joseph S Levine. Biology. 1st ed. Boston, MA.: Pearson, 2016. Print.

Standards And Backward Mapping

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  • Subject and grade level: Mixed-grade(9-12) Biology (Ecology)

  • NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards)

    • Source: The National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve have completed a two-step process to develop the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Why NGSS?

    • As I mentioned in the last activity, my school (science department in specific) is pushing the NGSS, because it is performance expectation based rather than content based. And a high-quality science education means that students will develop an in-depth understanding of content and develop key skills—communication, collaboration, inquiry, problem-solving, and flexibility—that will serve them throughout their educational and professional lives.
  • Students Proficiencies

    • SWBAT(Students Will Be Able To)

 
  1. Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
 
  1. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity
 
  1. Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species’ chances to survive and reproduce.
 
  1. Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
 
  1. Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity

    Essential Question:

    How do living and non-living things interact in the ecosystem?

  • Assessments

  1. Role Play: students being a conservation ecologist give a speech/presentation about why we shouldn’t build a new factory in the town.
  2. A quiz about the key concepts and vocabulary about ecology.
  3. Video: students making a video with statistics and evidence to encourage a more environmental friendly way of life.
  • Activities

  1. Field Trip to a nearby national reserve park with ecosystems
  2. Case study about ecology in action (Case study 1: Atmospheric Ozone, case study 2: North Atlantic Fisheries, case study 3: Climate Change)
  3. Web quest: students looking for information online to build data tables and graphs about the biodiversity of the area.

 

 

Reference:

  1. “Next Generation Science Standards”. org. N.p., 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.

 

Applying Classroom Rules and Procedures

Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement

  1. Use Simple Verbal and Nonverbal Acknowledgment (Marzano)
  • Verbal: The easiest way to give students positive reinforcement for adherence to the classroom rules and procedures is to use verbal forms of recognition. This might take the form of saying to the class as a whole or to specific students that they did a nice job carrying out a procedure. (Marzano)
    • Example: When I was doing Kahoot review game, when all the students got one question right, I would say “good job” to all of them; When I asked a question in class and one student volunteered to answer, I would say “thank you” at the end no matter if the response is correct or not. It seems the verbal and nonverbal acknowledgment used by me is confined in the area of academic content, so I should probably try to do more of it for adherence to rules and procedures(such as bathroom break procedures).
  • Nonverbal: Nonverbal acknowledgments are also quite effective. These take the form of smiles, nods, winks, thumbs-up signs, A-OK signs, and the like. For example, if a particular student has done a good job of raising his hand before asking a question, the teacher might simply smile and nod at the student. This keeps the interaction more private than verbal acknowledgments. For some students, private types of interactions might be more appropriate if they are embarrassed by public acknowledgment. (Marzano)
    • Example: I would give my students thumbs-up signs if they follow rules and procedures.

 

  1. Use Tangible Recognition (Marzano)

Tangible recognition seems more effective for my students, especially when the tangible recognition is in the form of extra points in their grades and can consequently improve their GPA.

  • Example: I would tell my students they can earn extra points for winning a review game or do some extra work in my class. I think I should also use tangible recognition for rewarding adherence to classroom rules and procedures.

 

  1. Involve other parties of the school

Other parties of school in my case would be DSA(department of student affairs) and homerooms. In my school, DSA is the main department dealing with students behaviors, so involving DSA in acknowledgment and recognition would be a good move.

  • Example: I think I could recommend DSA to give students some kind of reward and certificate for their adherence to the classroom rules and procedures, or the DSA can praise the students in their weekly gathering.

 

  1. Involve the home in recognition(Marzano)

Involving the home in recognition can be done in many ways, such as making phone calls, writing E-mails, and writing home notes.

  • Examples: I have written multiples emails to parents about the students’ behaviors, but to be honest, most of them were expressing concerns and worries about their kids at school. So I should probably use this more to do positive reinforcement.

Negative consequences

Negative consequences

  1. Verbal reminders

A verbal reminder can be done in front of the whole classroom as a general reminder, and it can be done individually. And the individual reminder can be further specified as a firstly private individual reminder and then a public personal reminder, which means call out the student name in front of the whole class and remind him/her to stop.

  • Example: When students are off task and talking out loud some unrelated, irrelevant topics, I usually just call their names and remind them to focus. I think I should adopt the multiple different level steps described above.

 

  1. Tangible consequences

Tangible consequences would include detention, deduction of points, classroom warning letters and time-out. I think this is the most important part of students management, for the majority of students are concerned about their score and GPA, if they know their behavior can and will affect their scores, they will behave better in the classroom.

  • Example: For students sleeping in the classroom or not participating in class activities, their class work points will be deducted, and detention will be given.

 

  1. Group contingency

Group contingency works best for classes with multiple hyperactive students, when it is too energy consuming and time wasting to address the problems for each student, it is good to use common interest and peer pressure.

  • Example: For my school, because most students are from China, kids naturally tends to communicate in their mother tongue(which is Chinese), it can be very difficult to address the problem one by one, so one English teacher used group contingency for the situation, when one student speaks in Chinese, the whole group or even the all class got affected.

 

  1. Involve other parties of the school

It is important for the school to cooperate and work together to solve the behavioral problems for students. Students would know that the school is putting in effort as group to deal with his/her issue. My school has one big department specializes in dealing with students’ affairs—DSA (department of student affairs).

  • Example: When students break rules multiple times in the classroom, it is time to involve the DSA to give them school level warning letters which in accumulation can lead to the student being expelled by the school.

 

  1. Home contingency(Marzano)

In fact, involving the parents should be done constantly in multiple ways, it should not be the last resort. Home contingency begins with a meeting among the parents or guardians, the teacher, and the student. The group discusses the student’s problem behaviors, and the student has opportunities to explain or defend the behaviors in question. The purpose of this meeting or meetings is for all parties to agree on the specific negative behaviors that are to stop in class and the specific positive behaviors that are to be exhibited.

  • Examples: As a result of an initial meeting among a middle school student, her parents, and the teacher, the group determines that the targeted negative behavior for the student is acting out when she becomes frustrated. The targeted positive behavior is to increase her level of engagement during class.

 

 

 

 

References

  1. Marzano, Robert J. The Art And Science Of Teaching. 1st ed. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2007. Print.