Article submission by:
Kathy Andreasen, Principal & Educator Effectiveness Implementation Coordinator, Baraboo School District
The field of education has provided many opportunities for me to change and evolve as an educator. With a passion for learning and a personal desire to continually grow, I obtained my principal license. In 2006, I became the principal of North Freedom Elementary School in the Baraboo School District. It was in this role that I truly began to understand the positive impact the Educator Effectiveness (EE) System has on educators when it is implemented within a culture of trust.
Evaluations are part of a system cycle for continuous improvement to positively influence student success. Using research from the MET Study and Better Feedback for Better Teaching (2016, Archer et al.) Baraboo School District created a “second observer” position. In this unique role, I observe every educator in the District and have conversations with them about equitable practices during their EE cycle. I conference with groups and individuals and engage in feedback to build capacity in a growth mindset. Through genuine discussions, I bridge and extend the learning so that our efforts to move forward through reflective practice is meaningful.
Regardless of the level of experience and confidence in the classroom, teachers want support to grow and learn. Actionable feedback is critical to growth, which John Hattie indicates has a significantly high (0.70) effect size.
So, how do we use quality feedback to guide our educators?
- Our focus is continual, individualized support of educators’ professional practice to maximize student learning using the Danielson Framework for Teaching.
- We meet with new educators to outline our District evaluation system which aligns with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Educator Effectiveness System.
- The Framework for Teaching guides teachers in their learning to advance knowledge and skills of teaching.
- We establish and build trusting, transparent relationships in the system so educators feel safe taking risks.
- We identify instructional priorities so principals can provide specific and relevant feedback to teachers to impact student growth.
- We continuously monitor the pulse of our District’s professional growth system and create learning experiences to move our educators forward in their growth and development.
The gain in reliability from adding another set of eyes is more than twice as large as that of adding another observation from the same observer. Adding eyes provide assurances that the system itself remains fair and reliable by safeguarding against any biases internal to a school. These are additional benefits to an EE system. The Baraboo School District will continue to invest in the EE System to provide meaningful and credible feedback to improve teacher performance.
Kathy Andreasen is in her thirteenth year in the Baraboo School District. It is her seventh year as an Elementary Principal at North Freedom Elementary School and fifth year as the District Educator Effectiveness Implementation Coordinator. Her passion is to provide high-quality feedback to educators to shape instructional practices and student success.
Kathy welcomes questions and opportunities to share more details about how Baraboo School District is able to implement these practices.
- Archer, Jeff, Steve Cantrell, Steven L. Holtzman, Jilliam N. Joe, Cynthia M. Tocci, and Jess Wood. 2016. Better feedback for better teaching: A practical guide to improving classroom observations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Gates Foundation. 2013. Measures of effective teaching project. Ensuring fair and reliable measures of Effective Teaching: Culminating findings from the MET Project's three-year study. https://k12education.gatesfoundation.org/resource/ensuring-fair-and-reliable-measures-of-effective-teaching-culminating-findings-from-the-met-projects-three-year-study/
- Hattie, John. 2017. "250+ Influences on Student Achievement." Visible Learning Plus. https://visible-learning.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/VLPLUS-252-Influences-Hattie-ranking-DEC-2017.pdf
Wiggins, Grant. 2012. "Seven Keys to Effective Feedback." Educational Leadership vol. 7 (September): 10-16. https://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept12/vol70/nu...