Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chart Your Path: Navigating Massachusetts' Education Initiatives

It's time to re-look at the expectations as a teacher in Massachusetts. I've updated this post from last year.

You can prepare for professional excellence in the following ways:
  • Look for ways to combine professional expectations and  efforts so that you're completing more than one criteria at the same time. Leaders can support this by carving out time for teachers to work on these efforts in diversified, responsive ways.  
  • Look for ways to complete the efforts and also advance on the pay scale--meet the requirements, earn credits, get new degrees--advance professionally so that your paycheck will rise with your hard work. Be on the look out for cost-free options in this regard. 
  • Take the time to read all the information related to the initiatives; it could be that you've already met the standards in some of these areas.
  • Organize your professional files, if you haven't already done so. I'm so sorry that I didn't make more time to put all those little PDP and course slips in a file--slips I thought wouldn't matter, but now could have made a difference with respect to the RETELL initiative and a new pay grade in my school system.  Now, I keep an online portfolio to organize all professional work. An online portfolio is easier to update and share. 
  • Know your expectations. This year MA teachers are required to meet DDM measures. Note that schools taking PARCC tests will be judged on the best of their growth measures between last year's MCAS and this year's PARCC.
  • Ask questions, seek help, work with colleagues, and chart your professional path. You have the chance to turn this potent to-do list of MA expectations to your advantage if you make the time to carefully seek support and craft a plan. 

This is an example of a potential professional learning chart for MA educators.

Let me know if I've left off any initiatives.

Research and Understand
  • RETELL obligations
  • Special Education course obligations (coming up)
  • New Standards expectations, focus.
  • Teacher Evaluation System Expectations and Timelines
  • Typical Professional Expectations.
  • Recertification Information.
  • District Determined Measures (DDMs)
  • PARCC requirements, dates, and preparation.
  • System-wide initiatives, timelines, and expectations.

Chart Your Professional Path.
Professional Learning
and Advancement
Summer 2014
Assess your needs in this area.
Prepare for the next year’s evaluation cycle. Assess standards’ implementation and any new requirements such as PARCC (if adopted by your system) and your DDMsMake sure you’ve received a system reimbursement for license fee if that’s part of your contract. Check to make sure the process went as planned. Assess and revise professional plan as needed. Draft professional goals.
School year 2014-2015
Sign up if needed.
Complete goals draft, and plan for meeting with evaluator. Familiarize yourself with all standards and requirements for your grade level or assignment. Know where you stand on the evaluation cycle, and act accordingly. Sign up for and engage in professional learning activities that help you to reach your evaluation and professional goals. 

*Starting July 1, 2016, in order to renew a professional license, all educators will need to accrue 15 PDPs in Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) and 15 PDPs in Special Education during each 5-year recertification cycle. The total number of PDPs required for recertification remains the same (150); however, 30 of those PDPs need to be in these specific areas.

**In 2013-2014, districts are required to research and pilot DDMs for some grades and subjects. In 2013-2014, at a minimum, districts must pilot at least one DDM that is aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in each of the following areas:

    1. Early grade (K-3) literacy
    2. Early (K-3) grade math
    3. Middle grade (5-8) math
    4. High school writing to text
    5. Traditionally non-tested grades and subjects (e.g., fine arts, music, p.e.)