Formal Observations

Posted by MICHELE PARSONS on 10/18/2018

Formal Observation

The Formal Observation provides an administrator the opportunity to observe a teacher and provide feedback and ratings around 7 Focus Elements, based on the expectations for effective teaching provided in the Teaching and Learning Framework.  Three of these focus elements are selected by the District, and all teachers will be evaluated on these three elements.  The teacher will self-select 3 additional elements, and finally, the administrator and teacher will cooperatively select one final element, for a total of 7.  These elements are taken from the list of 15 Focus Elements identified in the Teaching and Learning Framework.

For a classroom teacher, the formal observation will take place during a lesson that the teacher is teaching.  The administrator and teacher will agree on a date and time for the visit in advance.  As a part of this process, the administrator will meet with the teacher a day or two prior to the lesson to review the teacher's plan and discuss the anticipated lesson.  On the day of the observation, the administrator will arrive at the agreed upon time to observe a full class lesson.  During this observation, the administrator will script what the teacher and students say and do, in order to collect objective evidence and provide the teacher with feedback about the lesson.  Following the lesson, within 10 working days, the teacher and administrator will meet to debrief the lesson.  The administrator will then provide a rating, based on the evidence from the observation cycle, for each of the 7 selected focus elements.

For a NON-classroom teacher (coaches and coordinators) the Formal Observation may look different.  While it is possible that the coach/coordinator may teach a classroom lesson for the formal observation, it's also possible that an alternate activity may be more practical.  Some possibilities include a professional development the coach/coordinator may deliver to staff, a meeting s/he conducts, or some other task that is critical to their job description.  Just as in the case of the classroom teacher, the administrator will meet with the coach/coordinator prior to the observation to discuss the planning, and they will also meet within 10 working days after the observation to debrief.  However, because the evidence collection process is ongoing, the administrator will not assign ratings on the observation until the end of the year.

Remember, the contractual deadline for both types of Formal Observation is February 15, 2019.