Dina teaches seventh grade social studies. She began the year eager to weave issues of tolerance, diversity and cooperation into her curriculum with lessons specifically designed to teach students about her vision for a welcoming environment. Additionally, she held weekly class meetings in order to teach qualities of respect and tolerance to her students. It is now November, and Dina's mentor comes to observe her classroom and her teaching.
In action…Demonstrates attempt to create a welcoming environment
In reflection…Accurately explains key strategies for creating a welcoming environment
Describes in a compelling way why it is important to create a welcoming environment
Strand 1: The relevance of welcoming environment messages to students.
Effectively chooses a range of generic messages to support a welcoming environment (e.g., respect, tolerance, kindness and collaboration)
Effectively chooses messages applicable to student subgroups within the classroom (e.g., respect and appreciation for students? diverse academic levels, skills, learning styles, special needs, language barriers, races, classes, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds, etc.)
Strand 2: The teacher’s effectiveness at establishing and maintaining a welcoming environment.
Adequately sets basic expectations for a welcoming environment as necessary, and consistently and effectively responds to breaches, using them as opportunities to convey messages that support the welcoming environment
Effectively sets expectations for a welcoming environment as necessary, anticipates and prevents most breaches by proactively using a variety of methods (e.g., explicit lessons, classroom jobs, community building) that will support a welcoming environment and effectively responds to breaches when they occur
For TFA Staff: Guidance for Pre-Novice and Novice Ratings
Tells her mentor that she never followed up on her strategies to create a welcoming environment that she instituted at the beginning of the year past the first month of school? When the mentor asks why, she responds, "Because there is just so much stuff going on with managing my classroom that it just fell by the wayside. I just realized that I couldn't really prioritize it once the year started. Staying on top of my planning and management seems more important."
Although Dina's strategies from the beginning of the year may have initially earned at least a BP rating, and suggest an understanding of the need for creating a welcoming environment, Dina has not followed up on her strategies since then. Thus, her lack of current attempt at creating or sustaining a welcoming environment warrants a PRE-NOVICE rating despite her initial intentions and actions.
Tells her class, after one student teases another for answering a question incorrectly, "You all just need to stop that - that is so disrespectful"? In response some students begin laughing. Later, a visitor asks one student why he was laughing. "Ms. Tish thinks everything is so disrespectful. She just needs to relax."
Dina would achieve a NOVICE rating because she attempts to use the breach as a teachable moment but does not convey her message effectively.