Ari’s evaluator meets with him before his first scheduled observation, and the two discuss his lesson plan for the day. The evaluator notes that there are no references to IEP modifications in the plan, and asks whether or not any of his students have IEPs.
Demonstrates attempt to design differentiated plans
Accurately explains the main ideas behind differentiating plans based on student diagnostic data and/or goals of the individualized education plans, if applicable
Explains in a compelling way why it is important to differentiate plans.
Strand 1: The specificity with which the teacher targets differentiation.
Designs content, process, and products applicable to a general group of students, while complying with official accommodations and modifications, if applicable.
Regularly designs content, process, and products applicable to subgroups of students with different needs and interests.
Strand 2: The extent to which data informs a teacher’s differentiation.
Crafts plans based on student diagnostic data and/or goals of the IEPs, if applicable.
Crafts plans based on multiple sources of data (including ongoing assessments) and goals of the IEPs, if applicable.
Strand 3: The manageability of differentiation plans.
Designs efficient plans so that the teacher can offer support to individual students when the whole class is working.
Designs efficient plans and accountability systems to initiate various forms of structured differentiation (e.g., teacher rotating among established student groupings).
For TFA Staff: Guidance for Pre-Novice and Novice Ratings
Answers, “Yes, I have three students with IEPs”? The evaluator then asks him if he has planned any modifications for these students. Ari answers, “Well, not really. I’ve just been so busy and so overwhelmed that I haven’t really been doing that so far.”
Ari has shirked his responsibilities to his students with special needs. Clearly, failing to follow IEPs is a serious matter and can undermine students’ education.
The lack of attempt, no matter what the reason, means that Ari scores PRE-NOVICE on this row.
Differentiated only for SPED students but not for any non-SPED students?
The BP level of P-4 requires that a teacher design “content, process and products applicable to a general group of students, while complying with official accommodations and modifications if applicable.” It is not until the AP level of proficiency that a teacher must be differentiating for subgroups in the class as whole.
Thus, Ari could rank as high as BP without doing any individualized or small group differentiation outside of IEP goals.
Differentiated for non-SPED students, but did not make IEP-required modifications?
Given that two of the three strands at the BP level of P-4 require differentiation per IEP requirements, this scenario represents a “lack of attempt” on a key component of the P-4 teacher action.
Ari would therefore warrant a PRE-NOVICE rating.
(Of course, and more importantly, Ari would be violating the law and doing a great disservice to his students.)
Had said, “Well, I don’t have any students with IEPs, so I don’t really have to worry about differentiation, right?” Over the course the follow up conversation, the evaluator learns that Ari used no diagnostic data to inform his instruction so far this year and that he has been using lessons from the internet without any consideration of whether they are age appropriate or not.
The evaluator says to Ari, “Tell me what you do to plan for individualized time and instruction for students.”
Ari responds, “Are you kidding? I spend all my time trying to figure out how to get the group doing the same thing so that I can keep my head above water!”
The evaluator in this scenario is going to great lengths to find some evidence of differentiation in Ari’s teaching but cannot. In this case, Ari has not made any effort to consider the unique needs of individuals, or groups, or the entire class, of students in his classroom.
Thus, Ari is PRE-NOVICE on P-4.