Pre-Novice proficiency level: Simon- 10th Grade Geometry

Simon's tenth grade students are working on geometry problems in their assigned groups. Four of the six groups are working attentively, and he is alternating among them, checking their work and having short conversations with some students. One other group is openly talking, and the final group contains members who are off-task in a variety of ways, writing notes, reading books and putting their heads on desks.




In action…Demonstrates attempt to reinforce efforts toward the big goal

In reflection…Accurately explains key strategies for consistently reinforcing efforts toward the big goal

Describes in a compelling way why it is important to consistently reinforce efforts toward the big goal

Strand 1: The teacher’s selection of extrinsic reinforcements.

Chooses a small set of sound reinforcements for all situations

Chooses a variety of appealing reinforcements to reach a range of students, based on an understanding of students and depending on the situation

Strand 2: The scale (moving from generic and absolute to individualized and relative) the teacher uses to reinforce achievement.

Reinforcement system recognizes basic academic effort (e.g., class participation, homework completion, etc.) and mastery of a well-defined absolute bar

Reinforcement system recognizes significant academic effort (e.g., studying hard and making incremental gains) and mastery of a well-defined absolute bar

Strand 3: The strategic timing and consistency with which the teacher reinforces students’ efforts.

Consistently provides reinforcement at regular intervals and sometimes conveys the meaning of the reinforcements as a celebration of progress toward the goal

Provides reinforcements appropriately and flexibly so that they are delivered only at purposeful intervals, and almost always conveys the meaning of the reinforcements as a celebration of progress toward the goal to maximize impact and lead to intrinsic motivation

For TFA Staff: Guidance for Pre-Novice and Novice Ratings

Analysis: Why did the teacher receive these ratings?

What if Simon …

Acknowledges neither the good nor the poor effort in the room at all? When the evaluator asks him about his reinforcement system, Simon says "I don't do that rah-rah stuff. These kids are almost adults and I just don't think it serves them well to baby them. They know if they are working hard. They don't need to hear it from me."

Simon makes no attempt during this lesson to reinforce effort or achievement in his classroom, and disavows the value of doing so. Instead he focused solely on behavior. Thus, Simon would earn a PRE-NOVICE rating on I-4.

Has designed a system in his classroom where students who achieve an 80% or higher on assessments earn points for their group (with the group winning the most points at the end of each unit receiving a pizza party), and they also get to post their pictures on the "Scholar's Wall" for that week. However, when the evaluator looks at the systems, it is obvious that they are rarely actually used, and he observes that they haven't been updated in weeks.

Simon's attempt to reinforce efforts toward the big goal would warrant a NOVICE rating. (In particular, Simon fails to reach a basic BP bar on Strand Three since so few children are impacted by the system.) Note that at some point of extreme neglect, lack of timely implementation amounts to having no system at all, and a Pre-Novice rating might be warranted.