Thoughts about Charlotte Danielson’s Evaluation from Nick Paolini
Supervisor of School Improvement Services & Training and Consultation
Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit
Whether your district is utilizing the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching or not, it will be the tool used for determining if an educator is “Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.” Some districts are prohibited from using the Framework due to wording in contracts with their association. Nonetheless, it WILL be used according to Act 82 of 2012 – Teacher Evaluation Requirements sooner than later.
My unique role at an intermediate unit has allowed me to get valuable hands-on experience with the Framework. I supervise three teachers and when comparing the new system to the old, I am comfortable saying that the vast majority of subjectivity and opinion go right out the window when applying a rating to planning and preparation, instruction, classroom environment and professional responsibilities. There are twenty-two sub-domains and not enough time to write on each, however, one domain that I find most educators need to develop is 3b Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques.
To reach a distinguished rating in this sub-domain, students need to be the generators of questions and leading discussions. This can be quite challenging for educators who feel that during their on-stage time (Instruction and Classroom Environment), they need to be the “sage on the stage” rather than the “guide on the side.” One resource that I recommend for strengthening this area is Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understanding by Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford.
If you are reading this, you have a vested interest in education. Think of a great conversation from which you received a plethora of information and imagine every classroom having that effect. Go forth and do great things; you have the stage!