Friday, March 30, 2018

Standards--Elements--Indicators: Teacher Evaluations

Massachusetts' Current Rubric for Successful Teaching and Learning and proposed rubric with changes.

Educators were asked to add standards, elements, and indicators to their evaluation evidence. Although I know we are supposed to meet the criteria for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Evaluation Rubric, it's the first year, I believe that we've been asked to match our evidence to the specific standards, elements, and indicators, although colleagues tell me that they have always done it this way. Last night as I worked to match up the evidence I provided, evidence that matches the main standard areas, my professional practice goal, and student learning goal, I found the task both interesting and bothersome.

It was interesting because it focused my attention on the criteria of optimal teaching--I like the Massachusetts' standards for good teaching. I've evaluated them with depth in two online websites: TeachFocus and Summer Reflections. When the criteria was first shared, I spent a lot of time digging deeply into what each standard means mostly to see if the standards match what I believe in and what I've read. I found the criteria to be an excellent resource for good teaching. Yet to match my work specifically with each standard was also bothersome since in many ways I've embedded those standards into my work in multiple ways and most of my work represents multiple standards. Further some of the standards are simply obvious such as arriving at work on time--that's something I wouldn't be prone to prove with evidence since that's charted elsewhere in school records and it's not an issue.

As I completed the task, I realized that I wanted to turn around the way I do this next year. Rather than setting goals, doing the work, assessing the results, and then matching the standards, elements, and indicators in preparation of submitting evidence, this time I added the standards, elements, and indicators below my intended goals for 2018-2019--I'll start with a focus on the criteria and then as I build out next year's goals to better my craft, I'll use those standards, elements, and indicators as a ladder to successful effort.

For example, my intended student learning goal for next year is to deepen the math teaching with more project/problem based learning experiences and math writing process efforts. Rather than focusing on single knowledge points, I want to build a more integrated, engaging, and empowering math program, the kind of program Boaler supports in her book, Mathematical Mindsets. So as I thought of the goal, I added the standards, elements, and indicators that will support this goal--elements I will attend to as I read, research, create, and implement efforts to meet the goal. This provides a helpful scaffolding to successful goal attainment.

Of course, I want to match my goals to the system-wide and school-wide goal setting process and efforts. I am looking forward to learning about the goals that will take the main stage of system, school, and discipline efforts in the year ahead, and I will refine the goals I've created so far for next year.

I submitted my evidence for 2017-2018, a summative year for me. The plans are set for the rest of the year, and now it's all about finesse, collegiality, and student coaching, care, and attention. What is your goal setting process like? How does your system set goals and how does that process inform and affect your goals, effort, and practice. Spring is a great time to think about goals for the year ahead, and summer is a great time to read, research, and create to build the capacity to meet those goals in the new year of teaching and learning.