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Classroom Observation Instruments Essay

The following checklist it based off the Charlotte Danielson Framework. Teacher evaluations are based on four components or domains. Domain 1 is preparation and planning, domain 2 is classroom environment, domain 3 is instruction, and domain 4 is professional responsibility. When completing a classroom observation, only aspects of domain 2 and domain 3 are observable with a walk through. The following is an evaluation checklist of things a principal will look for while completing a classroom walk through. Sections marked with a (T) are teacher behaviors being observed, those marked with an (S) are student behaviors.

Domain 2- Classroom Environment

1. Creating a classroom environment of respect and rapport (T)
2. Establishing a culture for learning (T)
3. Managing classroom procedures (T)
4. Management of student behavior (T)
5. Organizing physical space (T)
6. Work stations for group work (S)
7. Student desks are organized and material accessible (S)

Additional notes on classroom environment:

Domain 3 – Instruction
1. Communicating with students (T)
2. Use of questioning and discussion techniques (T)
3. Engaging students in learning (T)
4. Using assessment in instruction (T)
5. Demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness (T)
6. Whole class participation (S)
7. Student Engagement/on task behavior (S)
8. Confidence displayed in assessment (S)

Additional notes on instruction:

The above checklist is meant to be a guideline for principals to use during a walk through evaluation. Can you see the five aspects of each domain present in the classroom for teachers and the five for students? A simple yes or no will suffice. The above checklist is meant to be a guideline or springboard to complete next steps in the learning process. Those areas marked yes should be a cause for celebration. Evaluators and teachers can then discuss to what extent those aspects were present during the observation.

In addition to the yes or no answers for each aspect of the two domains, an evaluator can write comments that fall within the domain descriptions as well. Are classroom procedures posted? That can be noted for classroom environment. What type of graphic organizer did the teacher use? That is part of an instructional strategy. The bottom part of the checklist allows the evaluator to add to the things he saw or did not see.

This evaluation checklist should be copied and given directly to the teacher for reflection. That way the teacher has immediate feedback of what the principal observed in her classroom. This allows the educator to see what is being observed in her classroom and in her teaching. She can reflect on what aspects were not observed, adjust her teaching and include those aspects going forward. As much as it is a checklist for the evaluator, it can be used as a check-in for the teacher. If time allows, the principal should sit down and discuss the findings with the teacher, but time is not always available for this conference opportunity.

This communication method would fall into a non-directive supervisory approach. Nondirective supervision involves the teacher being an essential part of the decision making process. While the teacher is reflecting and thinking through his actions for instructional improvement, the supervisor assists in this thinking and reflection process (Glickman& Gordon, Ross-Gordon, 2008). This is shown through the principal giving feedback, but the teacher working out the next steps on her own. The positive aspect of this type of supervision includes the teacher feeling comfortable enough to ask their administrator for help when needed and feeling comfortable enough to take risks in their classrooms (Rettig, Lampe, and Garcia, 2000).

Glickman, C.D., Gordon, S.P., Ross-Gordon, J.M. (2014). Supervision and instructional leadership: a developmental approach (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Rettig, P.R., Lampe and Garcia, P. (2000). “Supervising Your Faculty with a Differentiated Model.” The Department Chair 11(2)

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