Reflective Teaching Challenge Day Three: Observations and Evaluations

DAY THREE

Discuss one “observation” area that you would like to improve on for your teacher evaluation.

I would prefer to not engage in the controversial nature of teacher evaluations and how they are being tied to overall performance and ultimately merit pay.  Instead, I will share with you the four domains that the state of Florida has been using for its formal observations.

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For the purpose of this post, I think that it’s important to take an introspective on how I can improve as an educator, and not get bogged down by red tape and bureaucracy.  While I do not necessarily enjoy being observed, I do like hearing feedback.  Past administrators have always given me insights into my teaching, what to continue to pursue and suggestions for improvement for the future.  Knowing what challenges I have to overcome has never been something I have struggled with.  I enjoy a challenge, which may be why I have stayed with the field of education.

Areas of Identified Improvement for Each Domain

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I feel strongly that my ability to create a wide variety of assessments that allow for both students to display their knowledge but also for my gauge as to their understanding, as well as my ability to have adapted to new ways of introducing that information through coherent instruction.  I would like to focus on my knowledge of resources and technology.  In my previous post, I addressed three apps that I have found to be useful in the classroom.

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I struggle with physical space because it is limited to the classroom that I am given and the furniture provided.  I am lucky in that my space has shown to be adaptable to various layouts from rows, to groups, to circles for Socratic Seminars.  I would like to improve upon my ability to create an environment of respect and rapport.  I am noticing, especially in my younger students, that there sometimes has been a lack of empathy for others, comments are made, and I strive to nip this in the bud immediately.

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I know that I struggle with one aspect of Domain 3 that is not explicitly stated, but it is strongly dependent upon all of these items: asking a question to the class and waiting an appropriate response time.  I am very quick to allow a student to answer, even if they are the same one over and over.  I know that I need to wait, pause, and allow for more students to be included.

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Staying in communication with parents is something that I’ve improved upon, but I have to admit that I dislike making calls home. Perhaps it’s because it takes time out of my precious planning period, it’s unpleasant to have to “tattle” on a student, or maybe it’s because I’m awkward on the phone anyway.  Regardless of my own hangups, I know that I need to do more communication with parents.

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