Nov. 16 Professional Development

Together we will understand and get better.

Charlotte Danielson on Teacher Evaluation

What is the purpose of teacher evaluation?

Teacher evaluation serves two essential purposes: quality assurance and promoting professional learning.


  • For quality assurance, educators must be able to ensure parents and the larger community that they are well equipped to do the essential work of educating children. As an essential component of an education system, the quality of teaching must be high.

  • For promoting professional learning, a highly evolved system produces information about teachers’ strengths and weaknesses, and can therefore point the teacher toward areas for growth.


There is, inevitably, some tension between these two purposes; a system of accountability can feel like an “inspection” to teachers, while one entirely focused on professional learning can result in under performing teachers not receiving important information about their teaching. My recommendation in resolving this tension is to establish clear standards as to the level of teaching expected for teachers with different levels of experience, and once teachers have demonstrated that level of proficiency, concentrate all the efforts in the system to promoting ongoing learning.

How are each of the domains of the Framework for Teaching assessed?

Domains 2 and 3 of the Framework describe classroom practice, and can be assessed through observations of teaching. These observations can (and I think should) be supplemented by samples of student work, which also provide another indication of student engagement in challenging work.


Domains 1 and 4 represent “behind the scenes” work, important to good teaching, but not directly observable in the classroom. Observers can, occasionally, obtain indirect evidence of Domain 1 (Planning and Preparation) during an observation, but more direct evidence is obtained from planning documents, and a pre-observation (planning) conference. As for Domain 4 (Professional Responsibilities), there is rarely evidence for that in an observation, simply because those activities don’t happen in the classroom. Domain 4 is best assessed through the examination of artifacts that illustrate the teacher’s skill in the different components of the Domain. And while Domain 1 can, if there’s time to do so, be discussed in reference to every (announced) observation, I recommend that the components of Domain 4 be assessed annually.

What is the purpose of teacher evaluation?

Teacher evaluation serves two essential purposes: quality assurance and promoting professional learning.

  • For quality assurance, educators must be able to ensure parents and the larger community that they are well equipped to do the essential work of educating children. As an essential component of an education system, the quality of teaching must be high.
  • For promoting professional learning, a highly evolved system produces information about teachers’ strengths and weaknesses, and can therefore point the teacher toward areas for growth.

There is, inevitably, some tension between these two purposes; a system of accountability can feel like an “inspection” to teachers, while one entirely focused on professional learning can result in under performing teachers not receiving important information about their teaching. My recommendation in resolving this tension is to establish clear standards as to the level of teaching expected for teachers with different levels of experience, and once teachers have demonstrated that level of proficiency, concentrate all the efforts in the system to promoting ongoing learning.

Get out a piece of paper and prepare to evaluate.

Whole Brain Teaching: High School Math

Get ready to observe and take notes

High School History Lesson 2

YOU NEED TO ASPIRE TO BE THE CHANGE IN YOUR STUDENTS LIFE: THAT ALSO MEANS CHANGE YOUR TEACHING TO ASPIRE ALL

Truly Amazing Teacher