Charlotte Danielson wrote a book. An important one. And now all of New York City is changing how it evaluates teachers.
Gone are the days when teachers in public schools received just satisfactory or unsatisfactory ratings. Now teachers are scored on twenty-eight different criteria. Also gone are the days when teachers with tenure are not observed–now all teachers must be observed at least four times!
If you ask me, I think the Danielson Framework for Classroom Teaching is a wonderful way to assess teachers and classrooms. The framework has four domains. The first domain is “Planning and Preparation”, and teachers are allowed to provide artifacts and samples of their work to prove that they are well-planned and prepared for their lessons and that their lessons are aligned to the Common Core standards. The second domain is “Creating a Classroom Environment” which discusses how teachers should create a classroom that is open, warm, and lively. This domain also explains how students should be motivated and take pride in their own work. The third domain, “Instruction,” references the quality of teaching that goes on in the classroom, including level of discussion, questioning techniques, and higher-order thinking. The last domain, “Professional Responsibilities,” discusses continuing teacher education, communication with parents, collaboration with staff, and other professional obligations.
Watch Charlotte Danielson’s keynote speech at the Principal Conference in 2011.
By Stephanie Spector, Learning Specialist