Behind the scenes with classroom observers


Classroom observations have become a common tool in identifying and evaluating effective teaching practices. The Teacher Excellence Initiative’s use of classroom observations for teachers in consideration for the Distinguished Teacher Review, is no different.

“The difference between a classroom observation and a (Distinguished Teacher Review) observation is that in a classroom observation only one administrator is viewing the lesson activity for 45 minutes whereas in the DTR, there is a team of three that will observe the lesson activity and provide feedback,” said Cesar Chavez Principal Jose Munoz.

Principals have been trained to know what good instruction looks like, and content specialists know how the lessons should be aligned to state standards.

SEE ALSO: VIDEO: Teachers work together on DTR applications

“What do I look in an observation as far as science is concerned?” said DTR Content Specialist Roy Williams. “(…) is the fact that I want the students to be engaged, I want the teachers to be modeling the LO’s within the classroom and throughout the lesson cycle we want to make sure that the teachers are finding those checkpoints and ensuring the students are successful.”

After a teacher has completed the observation, the last component that will be factored into their DTR status will be their students’ academic performance on various tests.

SEE ALSO: VIDEO: Stonewall Jackson teacher embraces DTR pathway

The complete process to identify effective teachers for the Distinguished Teacher Review takes several months. Teachers stand to learn of their status as “Distinguished” teachers as early as September.

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