The Reflective Friends (RF) process is nearly complete for my 4 schools for the Fall of 2011. Glen Allen was selected as one of the pilot schools in the Spring of 2011. Because of this, they are not officially involved in the RF process this year. However, they will be doing a round of unofficial observations in November. The teachers that have participated this year have done a great job. This is a new process for elementary and it can seem overwhelming at the start. After Carver, Longdale, and Harvie have been observed I believe that my teachers see the process for what it is, a positive experience that is only in place to help teachers.
Here is what has happened so far this year:
- 6 teachers from each school were selected to participate, each grade level was represented.
- Since this was baseline data that was collected, lessons were planned around programs that they were comfortable with using with their students at this point in the year.
- Using the answers to the previous questions a lesson plan was developed.
- We made appointments to work with the kids to review the skills that will be needed to make the chosen applications work.
- An observation team made of up of 2 people visited each room for approximately 40-45 minutes. The observation teams were made up of an ITRT (Elementary, Middle, or High) and an administrator from another school or Central Office.
- The observers used the TIP-Chart to evaluate the lessons and provided constructive feedback for the teachers that will help them grow on the TIP-Chart.
- Two interview panels were setup. Groups of students and teachers were interviewed to collect additional information about 21st Century Skills.
- At the end of the school day, the observation team leaders met with the school’s admin team and shared the data and information collected during the observations and interviews.
Just because the Fall observations are complete doesn’t mean that the RF process is complete. The 6 teachers at each school are going to work with me throughout the year. We are going to look at the feedback that they received and plan lessons that will help them progress on the TIP-Chart.
The most important idea for you to understand about the RF process is that this is not pass or fail. RF is meant to be part of a professional development experience.
I am very happy to work with so many great teachers that had an awesome attitude towards this new process. I am very excited to see the teachers and students grow this year. RF is not going anywhere, there will be 6 new teachers selected next year. More updates and news about RF will be shared here later this year.
Applications and tools used during the observations: