When we know it, you know it
Reflections on the New Evaluation Plan "Reflection"
By now you have already had the opportunity to review your new individualized Danielson evaluation rubric, do the training (if you chose to do so), and review the new D68 Teacher Evaluation Plan powerpoint presentation. I know that the Danielson "Teachscape" on-line training can be fairly hard to navigate, so I appreciate everyone giving the Teachscape modules their best efforts. By the way, most of you (over 80%) have done the Danielson Teachscape training along with the D68 Evaluation Plan training module in GCN! For that I thank you.
Eventually, however, we come to the time of the year when we actually have to implement it. Most of you are familiar with our on-line Talent Ed software, so accessing your forms should be easy. Just a note, you will only see the items for which you are responsible. For teachers, this includes the Reflection component. In preparing for the reflection, I have been getting many questions from teachers and principals alike, asking "what do you write on the Reflection form?"
Unfortunately, I can't tell you what to write because I don't know. The reflection process is an intrinsic and unique experience. When a principal asks "what should they be writing", I can only tell them what is in the directions on the Reflection Form. The teacher must reflect on all 22 components and record that reflection on the form in Talent Ed, or attach a rubric or other writing, if so desired. The teacher is not required to write on all 22 components, but is required to be able to discuss them with their supervisor.
Ultimately, the Reflection is meant to drive discussion between you and your supervisor. Because it's not graded or part of the rating in the evaluation process, there is no right or wrong answer. Instead, it is what the individual seeking to reflect on wants to discuss with their supervisor. The only pre-requisite is that something recorded be handed in as part of the reflection. The teacher can decide what that is.
I have received requests from some principals as to whether or not teachers should be focusing on the Anchor Components as part of their reflection. Because the reflection is an individualized experience and is driven from the teacher's needs, my answer would be that if the teacher wants to focus on those Anchor Components, they should do so. My only caveat is that all 22 components need to be reflected on for the purposes of discussion.
So, can the teacher who writes three sentences be more reflective than the teacher who writes the sequel to "War and Peace" as part of their reflection? They very well could be if they have a deep understanding of the 22 components. It's also possible that the teacher who wrote the "War and Peace" sequel was just trying to regurgitate sentences for the purposes of trying to prove knowledge by volume. Having been in the legal profession, I know a lot of those types, and I fear I may be one of them.
In the end, effective reflection is a combination of self-understanding and discussion. You get out of it what you want. Freedom to reflect on self-practice can be a scary thing. Good news is you can never be wrong. Bad news is there is no word count that gets an "A".
I wish everyone the best in their first attempts. Remember, we are all learning together.