Standards + Instruction + Assessment = Classroom Practices

 

Classroom Practices. It’s what we as teachers must do well each and every day so students learn and achieve to their greatest potential. Effective classroom practices are the key to student growth. Defining, implementing and supporting effective instruction at the classroom level — and identifying hindrances to effective instruction — become of paramount importance to improve outcomes for students.

We can best improve classroom practices through professional learning that occurs among and between teachers, when teachers can put their new learning to use in the classroom immediately, and when learning relates directly to our teaching.

Teacher Voice and Input

For the past three years, a dedicated group of educators including classroom teachers, building principals, TOSAs and district leaders, have met and discussed, dreamed and planned, under the umbrella of Educator Effectiveness. To date, nearly 200 members of our David Douglas team have participated in an Educator Effectiveness activity. You may have participated in an Educator Effectiveness Leadership Team workgroup, or taken on the role of Evaluation Building Leader. Teachers created curriculum maps, served on the Math Leadership Team, and became Constructing Meaning Key Trainers. You might have helped develop a specific teacher performance rubric for your specialty area, or taken part in a focus group about professional learning.

In response to teacher input and voice, David Douglas wants to support teachers and their professional learning and growth for classroom practices, putting the learning as close to the classroom and the students as possible. We hope to achieve this high level of professional learning about classroom practices by focusing on two areas of professional learning: deconstructing standards and classroom assessment for student learning.

Job-Embedded Support

Since learning is individual and on-going, the professional learning we engage in, then, must be tailored and specific to each building, team and teacher to meet their specific needs and the needs of their students.

This professional learning will occur over time and with ample support from principals, district leaders, coaches, and teacher leaders. To provide support to teachers, we are excited to launch a professional learning focus on Classroom Practices. This focus will help schools and teachers work together to unpack the standards, and to design high quality classroom assessments for learning.

There is still much to plan before we have a full implementation of these practices and the Educator Effectiveness teams will provide support to buildings in 2015-16. Additionally, teachers within buildings will take on leadership roles to support their peers and their students.

Experts in Classroom Assessment for Student Learning

First, we are building an Assessment Cadre. This group of teachers will receive in-depth training from the Pearson Assessment Institute in Leading Professional Development for Classroom Assessment for Learning. This two-day training will prepare these leaders to work in their buildings to support assessment literacy.

Facilitators for Adult Learning

Secondly, we are building a team of skilled facilitators for adult learning. These facilitators will also receive training on facilitating adult learning and then help to engage their peers in professional learning in 2015-16 and beyond.

To learn more about each job-embedded support, follow the links to the right of this article.

The Educator Effectiveness team also encourages you to provide feedback on how best to support powerful professional learning in your building. We always encourage contacting any of the Grant Manager team directly or contacting any of the Educator Effectiveness Leadership Team members who represent your building.

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