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Knox (IN) Community School Corp.

/Educational Impact

Download PDF version of this articleIn September 2011, the Indiana Department of Education announced the implementation of the RISE Evaluation and Development System. In order to prepare staff members for the upcoming evaluations, set to take place during the 2012-13 school year, Knox Community School Corporation purchased Educational Impact’s Teacher Evaluation Using the Danielson Framework.

“We chose to purchase the Teacher Evaluation program because much of the RISE Evaluation and Development System is based on the methods discussed by Charlotte Danielson in this program,” said Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Peggy Shidaker.

“Again, this is the best professional development I’ve seen in years. You can see the positive impact it’s had inside our classrooms – I highly recommend this program!”
Peggy Shidaker, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Since its purchase in February 2012, the Teacher Evaluation Using the Danielson Framework program has given Knox Community major insight into the effective instructional methods and professional growth administrators expect to see during the RISE evaluations. “I’m overwhelmed by the positive feedback we’re getting from our staff! Our teachers are now confident that they will be successful in the evaluations,” said Shidaker.

Modules Facilitate ‘Professional Inquiry’

According to Shidaker, the Danielson Teacher Evaluation program has facilitated some of the best professional development she’s seen in years. “The videos and lessons have opened up our educators to professional inquiry that is happening district-wide. I can honestly say that every teacher is taking something away from this program.”

The Danielson Teacher Evaluation program offers modules filled with classroom video and commentary on the critical aspects of a balanced and clear teacher evaluation system. The program uses guided and independent practice activities and note comparison to help educators determine their level of performance as well as build an effective professional growth model. The program also allows for administrators to add discussion questions and comments for teachers to review after each module.

Along with the Danielson Teacher Evaluation program, Shidaker met with 15 teacher leaders from Knox’s elementary, middle and high school every week to review modules and answer discussion questions. The 15 teacher leaders then took what was discussed and led the same module discussion in teacher groups from each school. According to Shidaker, a total of 117 teachers and 9 administrators have participated in the professional development.

“Everyone is benefiting from these videos. The teachers are taking what they view in the modules and what is discussed in our teacher groups and applying it to the classroom – it’s the perfect program for blended learning,” said Shidaker.

Pinpointing Needed Improvements in Instruction

One particular lesson that has helped to produce improved classroom instruction is Danielson’s explanation on the method of ‘scripting’ – writing down the exact verbal and non-verbal actions of a teacher and his/her students during classroom instruction. This is the method that is utilized during the RISE Evaluation and Development System evaluations.

“The module on scripting was extremely beneficial. Because scripting is based on evidence rather than judgment, it allows evaluators to pinpoint the exact moment or section of a lesson where students were unresponsive,” said Shidaker.

Shidaker explained that the module on scripting has given her teachers the inside scoop on how the technique works, and the signs too look for when improving teaching methods. “After learning and discussing the Scripting module, many teachers have mentioned becoming more self-aware during classroom time. Because of the this, our teachers are seeing the holes in their own methods and making improvements for more effective instruction.”

Shidaker also mentioned the impact Danielson’s Teacher Evaluation has had on administrators’ evaluation training. “The program was not only beneficial to our teachers, but also our administrative staff. Administrators who will be conducting the RISE evaluations were able to use the Teacher Evaluation modules to train and earn their RISE Evaluation and Development System certifications.”

Improving Overall Instruction

Before purchasing the Danielson Teacher Evaluation, Shidaker said many teachers were uneasy about what to expect during the RISE evaluations. However, after the professional development with Charlotte Danielson’s Teacher Evaluation program, Knox Community teachers are now confident in their teaching methods.

“The best part about this program is our teachers now know what to expect and look for during the evaluations. They can see the impact it’s had on their methods and their students. This program has targeted the levels of teaching, rather than the teacher – causing our teachers to evaluate issues they have never discussed before,” said Shidaker

“Again, this is the best professional development I’ve seen in years. You can see the positive impact it’s had inside our classrooms – I highly recommend this program!”