Novice proficiency level: 6th Grade Language Arts

Natalie is a first-year teacher. She is meeting in her classroom with her observer prior to the first day of school.

Support materials:
Conversation with Observer (Excerpt)

Overall rating & analysis

Overall rating: One PN strand and one N strand equal an overall N rating.

Novice

Beginning

Advanced

 

In action…
Demonstrates attempt to set or adopt a big goal according to the criteria In

In reflection…
Accurately explains the main ideas behind big goals, including relationship to standards, measurability, and criteria for ambitiousness and feasibility

Strand 1: The Big Goal’s appropriateness for all students, reasoned ambitiousness, and sources.

Adopts a broad, generic goal that aspires to be ambitious and feasible for the entire class and achieves that balance for at least half of the teacher’s students Designs a goal that is both ambitious and feasible for most students, based on reasoning informed by multiple sources, including diagnostic results for mastery goals

Designs a goal that is both ambitious and feasible for most students, based on reasoning informed by multiple sources, including diagnostic results for mastery goals

Strand 2: The teacher’s understanding of how accomplishing goals will demonstrate mastery of standards and increase students’ opportunities in life.

Describes how the goal is aligned to key standards and identifies a basic tool of measuring achievement of the goal.

Describes how the goal is aligned to all key standards, explains broadly what students should know, understand or be able to do in order to achieve the goal, and cites the necessary assessment tools (e.g. achievement tests, performance-based assessments, etc.) that will be most meaningful to students’ lives when measuring the different facets of the goal

 

 

Analysis: Why did the teacher receive these ratings?

Rating: NStrand 1: The Big Goal’s appropriateness for all students, reasoned ambitiousness, and sources.

Why N?

The teacher does not adopt “a broad generic goal” for language arts.

Despite her attempts, there is insufficient evidence that the teacher’s language arts goal, “Awesome Authors! We won’t stop until our writing is competition ready!”, is “ambitious” or “feasible” for even half of the students in the teacher’s class, since the teacher has little information about the amount of academic growth represented by students’ ability to enter the competition or about how the competition criteria relates to mastery of state standards for language arts. Instead the teacher attempts to justify her goal’s ambitiousness by pointing out that her goal asks students to compete against the wealthiest students in the state (i.e., “The thing is, this competition will put their writing against the writing of the best students in the state. If they can compete, doesn’t that seem pretty ambitious?”). In addition, because the teacher has little information about where her students are starting, there is no way to determine if her goal is feasible.

Rating: PNStrand 2: The teacher’s understanding of how accomplishing goals will demonstrate mastery of standards and increase students’ opportunities in life.

Why PN?

The teacher does not even attempt to describe “how the goal is aligned to key standards” when she discusses her language arts goal with her evaluator. Instead of aligning her goal to key state standards, she plans to align her curriculum to the key skills evaluated in the competition and has not yet even looked at her state’s standards for writing. In fact the teacher is reluctant to even use state standards in designing her goal and long-term plan, valuing instead the competition criteria (i.e., “This is what the judges will be looking for, so these are the elements I’ll be teaching throughout the year. [Reads from poster] “Our big goal will lead our writing to include: Critical Thinking, Creativity and Original Expression, Eloquence, Correct Grammar, Solid Construction, and Persuasive Techniques…I guess I’m not entirely convinced of how to use the standards or that the standards would actually lead my students to be critical thinkers. And the critical thinking piece is what’s really important to me because I feel like that’s what’s never emphasized for our students.”).