More than 85 percent of this year’s Distinguished Teacher Review-eligible teachers said they had a positive experience with the district’s new initiative that helps identify effective teachers.
The feedback was in response to a survey that Dallas ISD issued to DTR-eligible teachers to get their thoughts on the DTR process. Dallas ISD implemented the DTR process this school year as a part of the Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI), which aims to identify and reward effective teachers. Dallas ISD had 1,477 DTR-eligible teachers this year, 1,404 of which submitted a DTR application.
“Most teachers viewed the DTR process to be a positive experience that allowed them to highlight their leadership, lifelong learning, contributions to the profession, and quality of instruction,” said TEI Director Lindsay Coshatt.
The survey also found that more than 88 percent of teachers said that the DTR process helped foster self-reflection around their instructional practices. Other survey results included:
- 80 percent said the DTR observation was conducted in a way that fairly assessed their quality of instruction;
- 88 percent said the DTR application was structured in a way that allowed them to highlight examples of their leadership, lifelong learning, and contributions to the profession of teaching;
- 75 percent said they had made or plan to make changes in their teaching as a result of undergoing the DTR process.
Coshatt said district leaders would use the survey results as they reflect on future revisions to the DTR process.
“We are operating DTR under a continuous improvement model,” she said. “Teachers’ survey results continue to be analyzed so we can incorporate feedback and improve DTR implementation for the 2015-16 school year.”
The survey also included open-ended feedback from teachers. Below are four of the responses from DTR-eligible teachers:
“The DTR process has helped me to take my education practices to the next level. I better understand the profession of teaching because this process gave me the tools to effectively assess my strengths and weaknesses.”
“I tell everyone I know about my experience! I believe the district is blazing new trails and setting the bar high for other districts in the area. Putting a system into place that rewards teachers financially for an outstanding performance is long overdue. Teachers are professionals and should adhere to a set of expectations that demonstrates their level of commitment to the district’s goals. I truly believe the Distinguished Teacher Review process is going to create more professional environments in schools which will lead to greater student success.”
“The DTR process started off to me as a real big challenge but with the help that was given made it possible to endure and work through the process. I am proud to be selected to participate in this program and I will do my very best each and every day.”
“Although the DTR process was not an easy task, I admire how teachers are being identified as distinguished among the various campuses and I can appreciate the vast opportunities that have been afforded to retaining highly effective leaders in the district. This has been one of the best methods I have witnessed being awarded for accomplishments within the district.”