Thus, the skills and knowledge that matter are those which contribute to creating classrooms, schools, and districts where there are clear expectations about performance.
This is the one point on which the others depend...and it is the one that is least likely to occur. Most teachers RESIST the efforts of administrators to modify/improve the quality of instruction in (perhaps your?) classroom.
Mark, can you give an example from your experience?
Leaders need to make sure that they are also providing support for the improvements that are being implemented. Many times schools will throw out new ideas without providing teachers the framework and support to carry theses ideas out.
Amy, what would you do as a leader to increase support?
Why is there such a resistance from teachers to be observed and critiqued? Why would anyone not want the constructive criticism in order to improve their teaching practice?
How do you encourage this conversation without being threatening?
Well Scott, I would give teachers an opportunity to ask questions and brain storm answers. When making my post I was thinking of how my district has switched to Standards Based Report Cards, and when we all asked what would constitute a "4- Excelling at the Standards" No one can answer it, so we are not all on the same page.
Prof. Rivas, I believe that a community of sharing must be established first, so that people get used to the idea that sharing brings about positive change. Also, by instructing teachers how to critique in a positive manner can also ease the anxiety.
The whole purpose of leadership is to make those around you better and more effective. A good leader is one that makes everyone around them better.
Hey Bob,I think people are afraid that being observed and critiqued could be used against them. Schools really need to build an environment where teachers feel that it is ok to take risks and learn.
That is very true Amy. Our school is notorious for doing that as well as LAUSD. They introduce these new pedagogies with no scaffolding and before we master it they come in with something new.
Scott—It is my experience that many teachers have the attitude "Don't tell me how teach!" This is squared when the advice/criticism/fiat is given by a (perhaps hostile) administrator, who is not aware of what is really going on inside your classroom. I agree that this attitude is wrong-headed...but if it persists, it will be difficult for "leadership to improve practice and performance."
Rob there is probably resistance to being observed because not every teacher feels competent in their lesson planning or their instructional methods. Some teachers are also embarrassed by the manner in which some of their students act.
This makes the development of a healthy school community, even among the faculty and not just the students, so vital. Just think...what if teachers really believed that other faculty members care about your growth and success as much as their own.
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