Beginning proficiency level: 9th Grade English

Support materials:

Narrative Description

Overall rating & analysis

Overall rating: Two BP ratings equal an overall BP rating.

Beginning

Advanced

Exemplary

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.)

Effectively chooses messages applicable to student subgroups within the classroom and beyond and ensures that each student is affirmed and supported for the unique individual s/he is

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

Compellingly sets expectations for a welcoming environment as necessary, effectively empowers students to become leaders in sustaining a respectful, collaborative environment for all by teaching them to affirm and support their classmates and to resolve all conflicts in peaceful and enduring ways


Analysis: Why did the teacher receive these ratings?

Rating: BP Strand 1: The relevance of welcoming environment messages to students.

Why BP?

  • The teacher "effectively chooses a range of generic messages to support a welcoming environment (e.g., respect, tolerance, kindness and collaboration)." Before the activity begins, the teacher conveys messages about the importance of collaboration and support (i.e., "Remember, everyone, part of our goal here is working collaboratively and building each other up because we're working and learning together"), as well as respect and tolerance (i.e., "You may disagree with something someone in your group says, but you need to disagree respectfully and explain why without insulting one another. We're not all going to agree all the time, but in this class we tolerate different viewpoints and listen to each other respectfully. Got it? Let's get started.").
  • The teacher’s messages of collaboration, tolerance, support, and respect are consistent with the creation of a supportive classroom and are sufficiently comprehensive to encompass an effective "range" of ideas that would support this environment. In addition, the blanket messages are generally applicable to students at some level. At least half the students would likely find the messages important, relevant and compelling. This is supported by the students’ initiative to involve the teacher in mediating their group conflicts so that they can effectively work together.

Why not AP?

Messages are not "applicable to student subgroups;" they are more generic.

Rating: BP Strand 2: The teacher’s effectiveness at establishing and maintaining a welcoming environment.

Why BP?

  • The teacher "adequately sets basic expectations for a welcoming environment" before students begin the activity by reminding student of how they should work in a collaborative and supportive way (i.e., "Remember, everyone, part of our goal here is working collaboratively and building each other up because we're working and learning together. You may disagree with something someone in your group says, but you need to disagree respectfully and explain why without insulting one another. We're not all going to agree all the time, but in this class we tolerate different viewpoints and listen to each other respectfully.").
  • In addition, the teacher "consistently and effectively responds to breaches of the welcoming ennvironment and uses them as opportunities to convey messages that support the welcoming environment." There are three breaches of the welcoming environment when students are not collaborating well and the teacher stops the class at each moment to address the entire class about the best ways to collaborate and support one another. In these moments, the teacher effectively discusses the ideas of compromise and explains in detail how students should compromise in a democratic way (e.g., In response to a break down in one team's communication, the teacher addresses the entire class with a message that supports collaboration and the welcoming environment. "Okay, I want all eyes and ears up here. Jeremy's group has raised an interesting issue. When you collaborate you need to take the views of lots of people and boil it down to one voice in your report. You might have different viewpoints, and as a team you're going to have to work through them. You're going to have to compromise and there may be give and take. That means sometimes your view about one thing might end up in the report, but your view about another thing might not. The moderator's job is to make sure that everyone can mostly agree on what's in the report and that everyone's views are represented in one way or another. Does anyone have questions about that? Okay, then let's get back to work.").

Why not AP?

Three breaches during one class period are too many for an AP bar. In addition, there is insufficient evidence that the teacher uses proactive techniques to prevent the breaches, in addition to reacting after breaches have occurred.