December 6: Professionally-Informed, Growth-Centered Practice

E1 – Exemplify professionally-informed, growth-centered practice.

This program standard requires open communication, feedback and collaboration as teacher candidates work to develop their teaching and professional skills inside and outside the classroom. It encourages them to reflect on the various aspects of the teaching profession and challenges them to seek forward growth and guidance in their practice.

evidence

Above is a snapshot of the Internship Performance Criteria (Denton, 2014) rubric which is used to evaluate all teacher candidates as they pursue a teaching career. The criteria in which they are evaluated ranges from communicating high expectations for learning (1.1 and 1.2 are shown above) to participating collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice and teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.  A similar rubric, such as the Danielson Framework, will be used to document teacher performance once a teacher candidate is hired by a school district or private school. The Internship Performance Criteria is used to evaluate the performance of the teacher inside the classroom as well as their additional professional responsibilities outside the classroom. It is important for teacher candidates to become familiar with this evaluation as it will document their growth in the classroom.

This relates directly to the program standard E1 as it is a tool to chronicles the growth of skills and techniques of teachers. It is a formal evaluation which allows for feedback and collaboration as teacher candidates work to advance on the scale from unsatisfactory to distinguished. As shown above, there is input from both the teacher candidate and the professor. In a similar way, teachers and administrators will work together using similar criteria to evaluate performance and discuss areas that may be improved in open dialogue. It helps to form goals, determine best practices in each area of the criteria and ensure that all aspects of the educational setting are being addressed by the teacher. The evidence posted above shows competence in the area as the assignment required teacher candidates to intentionally reflect on ways they could seek to be proficient in the teaching profession.

Professionally-informed, growth-centered practice benefits students directly as teacher candidates become masters of the profession. Ongoing professional development is essential to being an effective teacher in the ever changing culture. Teachers who are committed to seeking new ways to engage their students in their curriculum and willing to collaborate with other teachers to create the best possible learning experiences for students creates a dynamic learning environment for students. Teachers (and teacher candidates) do not need to wait on an administrator to evaluate them and provide them feedback on their performance: schools are full of colleagues who are seeking the same outcome, to effectively impact student learning and growth, who are willing to observe and provide feedback to teachers who seek to improve as individuals.

Teaching is an ever-evolving profession which requires teachers to continuously evaluate their performance. Formal and informal evaluations as well as individual and collaborative reflections are essential for teachers to fulfill the expectations of the teaching profession. Teachers should embrace opportunities to learn from their colleagues in similar and different subject areas as well as their administrators. Evaluation and reflection helps promote student learning and develop effective teaching. With tools like the Internship Performance Criteria teacher candidates are able to reflect on their performance based on the observation and feedback of another and concentrate on specific areas where growth is required.

References:

Denton, D. (2014, Autumn Quarter). EDU 6918 introduction to teaching. Internship performance criteria retrieved from Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA.

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