Exemplary proficiency level: 2nd Grade

 

Support materials:
Video clip #190

Excerpt of Conversation with Evaluator

Audio clip #190b_pahuja

Overall rating & analysis

Overall rating: Two E ratings equal an overall Exemplary rating.

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

Why E?

  • The teacher "effectively chooses messages applicable to student subgroups within the classroom and beyond." She promotes messages of peace, a supportive classroom culture, and accountability to all students using a diverse set of role models that represents subgroups in the class and outside of the class, including Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, and the Dali Lama. In addition, students have internalized her messages of tolerance, collaboration, and peacefulness so that it is likely they would be able to apply these principles to subgroups they have not yet encountered in ways that would welcome and value others.
  • From students’ expressed valuing of the messages of peace (e.g., one student says, "It is really important to be peaceful because if you didn't, then this class wouldn't be nice. It would be really bad. That's why we're at the peace table so we can be peaceful to others."), it is clear that all students find the messages important relevant, and compelling.
  • The context reveals that the teacher "effectively chooses messages aimed at ensuring that each student is affirmed and supported for the unique individual s/he is" by responding to students in their journals where they write their thoughts about the classroom environment (i.e., "I'll assign certain journal questions that encourage them to be reflective, like: "How do you feel about our classroom?" or "What important role do you play in our classroom?" or "What is one thing you would like to change about our classroom?" And I learn so much about how they're feeling from their personalized answers in their journal — and I respond in writing or in person to every single entry, so they really serve as conversation starters for us.").
  • In addition, the teacher has set up a number of structures to encourage students to independently generate messages that affirm and support their classmates including implementing "accountable talk" where, according to one boy, students respectfully help their classmates to the right answer and through the peace table where students are able to independently resolve conflicts and affirm one another. This maintains a welcoming environment and helps to prevent breeches. There is one example of this in the video during the reading group discussion.

Rating: EStrand 2: The teacher's effectiveness at establishing and maintaining a welcoming environment.

Why E?

  • The teacher has compellingly set "expectations for a welcoming environment," so that all students can relay the teacher’s messages and their purposes. This is evidenced by the teacher’s descriptions of her students’ understanding of the messages (i.e., "Having peaceful interactions in our classroom and the fact that I have emphasized peace in our classroom has meant so much to my children. That's a buzzword in my classroom. You could ask any one of my students to spell it, to explain what it means, and they know. They know what it means to be a peaceful human being.") Further, the students themselves are able to accurately explain the teacher’s messages of peace, have internalized their importance and are able to apply them through accountable talk, can engage in conflict-resolution at the peace table, and do not breach the welcoming environment.
  • The teacher "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." She asks students to mediate their own conflicts at the peace table and has modeled how they should constructively resolve conflicts (i.e.,
    "I also expect that if students have conflicts with each other, they take them to the peace table. If I find that two students are arguing or there's an issue with hearsay, I say, why don't you take that to the peace table and try to solve it. And unless it's necessary that I'm there, I just step back and let them solve the problem. I've modeled it, they've seen me do it and now they sort of just take it on their own." This is effective and students report that the peace table makes them feel "safe and comfortable." In addition, one child's parent also affirmed how effective the teacher’s system is at creating a supportive class culture.