I have the privilege of being a part of an organization that believes in developing talent. As a result, I was selected to attend Teacher Squared training in New Orleans, Louisiana so that I could learn more about using data to improve novice teacher practice. The conference was brief (2.5 days) but one of the best professional development experiences around data that I have seen. We learned so much in a short amount of time that (of course) I had to condense my learning into my three greatest resources. I put these here so that any of you who have never heard of Teacher Squared can get to know them and any of you questioning the value of teacher educator (to include principals in my opinion) development can put those worries to rest.
Resource #1: A Framework for my Teacher Development practice
I have formally been in the work of new teacher development for the past two years. In that time, I have had no measurable way to gauge the efficacy of my interventions. I looked only at how well my teachers 1. Responded to and implemented my feedback and 2. Student achievement scores as determinants of progress. The framework provided by Teacher Squared is concrete and gives me a clear way to push myself towards excellence just as I push my teachers towards the same. You can download a copy of their framework yourself here: https://www.teachersquared.org/tepf-resource
Resource #2: A Framework for measuring the efficacy of my Practice
I am not sure what your experiences have been, but as I said a close look at the data I gather is not something that has heretofore been a hallmark of my teacher development training. Finding out that there are five steps to using data to improve practice and actually using a case study to practice those steps brought home to me the importance of ensuring that I inspect what I expect. A big part of clarity and ultimately trust building is conveying expectations to new teachers early and then being deliberate in gathering data to assess them.
Resource #3: TRACKERS!!
While this is NOT the tracker tutorial that we were given at the conference, it is useful for those of you looking to gather quantitative data from open ended questions. That way as you coach teachers, you can group their responses to questions that you ask or their reactions to feedback given and use that to do your data analysis. I elected to include this here because this method of tracking teacher efficacy (observation and conversation) is how I have gathered data. With the addition of numbers I can track our encounters in a way that gives me real insight into new teacher development.
I included this video on creating pivot tables (something else we learned about) for those of you who are gathering data but have no idea of how to make it usable!
Remember to lead is to constantly learn, and while others may not tell you the truth, I always will data based decision making means ALL have to own data tracking and analysis. We can’t make progress if we aren’t regularly measuring our performance.