The Blaine Teacher Evaluation and Professional Development Framework
Teaching is a complex activity. The Blaine Teacher Evaluation and Professional Development Framework divides teaching into 21 components. These components are clustered into four domains of teaching responsibility.
- Planning and Preparation
- Classroom Environment
- Professional Responsibilities
The idea for a Teacher Evaluation and Professional Development Framework began on my first day at Blaine. I visited several classrooms and thought about the feedback I needed to provide to teachers. I felt that before I gave them my feedback, we needed to first develop a common understanding of what constitutes good teaching and agree on a common language for describing it.
There were several frameworks out there (e.g., the Danielson Framework, the Marshall Framework, Marzano’s Framework, etc.) but none of them was well-aligned to what was needed at Blaine. I took the best concepts and language from each of these frameworks, added concepts from educational research literature, and then—using the structure of the Danielson Framework as a template—synthesized this material to develop a draft of the Blaine framework. I presented this draft to teachers and asked for their feedback. Over the next few weeks, the teachers made significant contributions to the process of fine-tuning and perfecting the framework. It is rare that school based teachers get a chance to evaluate and critique the process by which they themselves will be evaluated. Blaine teachers engaged in this process with professionalism and a strong focus on the needs of their students. The result is, in my mind, by far the best teacher evaluation and professional development framework I know of.
Blaine teachers and administrators will use the framework as the foundation for our coaching, professional development, and teacher evaluation processes. The framework also creates a common language around which we can engage in professional conversations as educators in order to enhance our skill in the complex task of teaching.
Once the framework was completed, the Blaine Leadership Team began a series of weekly grade level meetings aimed at building teacher capacity in each area of the framework. It is important to note that becoming proficient in any one of the 21 elements of the framework involves a significant amount of time spent in cycles of training, planning, implementation, and reflection. It is imperative that professional development be thoughtful, deliberate and appropriately paced. For example, we have spent the last three months developing teacher familiarity with element “1a” of the Planning and Preparation domain:
- 1a. All learning outcomes are clear and represent significant and appropriate cognitive challenge, essential disciplinary understandings and questions. Knowledge and skills goals are aligned with established learning standards and assessments and are written in the form of student performance.
Looking at how much time teachers need to spend developing proficiency in just one of the 21 elements of the framework helps us to see that developing proficiency across the entire framework is a protracted multi-year process.
In addition to the weekly grade level meetings, we have begun a series of teacher observation cycles (pre-conference, classroom observation & post-conference). During these cycles teachers sit down with an administrator and have the opportunity to discuss areas in which they’d like to strengthen their practice.This pre-conference, when combined with the observation and post-conference, gives teachers the opportunity to receive targeted feedback on other areas of the framework.
We are excited about the impact this framework can have in terms of its ability to enhance teacher collaborative work, enrich professional conversations about teaching and learning, and inform our teacher evaluation and professional development processes.
Troy LaRaviere, Principal
James G. Blaine Elementary School