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The ReVIEW Team

Speak Up: Your Teachers Want the Feedback

4 min read

Speak Up global flickr photo by speakupglobal shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Mr. Daniels always wondered how his administrator, a former elementary school teacher with a background in literacy, could ever evaluate his teaching. After all, he taught AP Physics, and felt the only fair way to judge his teaching would be by another content area expert.

At ReVIEW Talent Feedback System we worked with Mr. Daniels and his administrator to realize if you turn to the experts that were in the room, the students, an evaluator can find evidence of not only great teaching but great learning.

Evaluators need to speak up.

After working with us Mr. Daniel's administrator, Dr. Akahmi, began to ask students questions. As Patrick notes, "Open you mouth and talk with students to truly discern what they are learning and how deeply they are learning it!"

Dr. Akahmi asked a student to explain to her how motion works under constant acceleration. As a former first grade teacher she did know but Mr. Daniels had explained they would need this knowledge moving forward in the lesson. The student was then able to not only write down expressions for velocity and position as functions of time but also made a few sketches. As an evaluator Dr. Akahmi new deep learning had occurred.

Evaluators should never sit in the back of the room hiding behind a laptop taking laborious notes. Instead get involved with the learning. Some critics complain that there may not be time or opportunity for this type of interaction. If this is the case, that a period goes by with no time for dialogue, then that in itself is indicative of the quality of teaching.

Also feel free to provide just in time coaching to teachers you observe. We only choose partners who see talent development as a capacity building program and not a compliance task with loads of paperwork to complete.

Some of the best schools we work with do not even use forms for formal and informal observations. They do quarterly summaries inside of ReVIEW Talent Feedback System, but time in the classroom focuses on coaching.

When they return to their office they jot down a few notes inside our App and save this information for their quarterly reviews.

How to coach your administrators to Speak Up

At ReVIEW Talent Feedback System we encourage you to train your evaluators to talk to students.

First begin with the stated or posted learning objectives. Have your team describe what it would look like for students to truly understand what it would mean to be able to explain mastery, why they are learning the material, or what success would look like if the teacher is using new content. The easiest way to do this is have students teach the evaluator.

Next have your staff examine your framework for effective teaching. Choose an indicator or attribute. Brainstorm what questions an evaluator could ask the student or the teacher that would provide evidence of effective teaching against this attribute. Finally have the team then describe example of evidence against the scales of that indictator or attribute. So, for example, what questions could you ask a student to gather information that a task required "high cognitive demand" what would those answers sound like at the developing or effective level?

Want to learn more about how to use ReVIEW Talent Feedback System in your school or about our partnerships to increase evaluator effectiveness? Reach out to Greg at [email protected]

In line image credit: "X is for...340/365" flickr photo by AndYaDontStop shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license