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What does it mean to be an effective teacher

Data compiled using Education Week's Education Counts database, available at http: Making Recognition Programs Work Attracting and retaining highly effective teachers is another challenge, and static career steps aren't enough. Few, if any, focus on what matters most—student learning.

In 2008, 20 states provided incentives for teachers to work in targeted, high-needs schools, and 16 states provided incentives for teachers to work in targeted teaching assignment areas.

Ideas from the Field

Urban teacher residencies, like the ones in Chicago and New York City, show how successful induction models combine incentives paid trainingstrong preparation, and support to attract and retain quality teaching candidates in high-needs schools. Teacher working conditions, while not as high profile as financial incentives, are significant in creating conditions for effective teaching and keeping good teachers in the classroom.

Bush and key architect of NCLB, what does it mean to be an effective teacher the great challenges to getting performance-based incentives for individual teachers right and suggests starting with incentives for school effectiveness Education Sector, 2009. The challenges Kress is referring to revolve primarily around how to develop a reliable, fair, and multiple-stakeholder-approved way of measuring the performance of individual teachers, and the fact that many teachers teach subjects that are not measured by traditional standardized tests.

These challenges are reflected in the few states, only seven in 2008, that have instituted a pay-for-performance program or pilot rewarding teachers for raising student achievement.

Finding the Funding One huge hurdle to enacting and sustaining differentiated recognition programs is finding stable funding. Education policy experts—and even education philanthropists like Bill Gates—recommend removing incentives for master's degrees, which research shows have little or no correlation to teacher effectiveness, and redistributing these funds to attract new teachers and reward effective ones.

Some locations, like Denver, have experimented with funding tied to property tax increases. Other programs rely on philanthropy from the nonprofit sector. Funds under Title II's Higher Education Teacher Quality Enhancement Act will be available in fall 2009 as competitive grants to states, partnerships of institutions of higher what does it mean to be an effective teacher, and local education agencies LEAs for teacher training and recruitment.

TIF funds will be available in what does it mean to be an effective teacher 2009 as competitive grants to LEAs, including charters that are LEAs; states; or state-local partnerships to develop and implement performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-needs schools. One of the assurances is "increasing teacher effectiveness and the equitable distribution of effective teachers" U. Department of Education, 2009. In fact, TIF-sponsored, performance-based evaluations could be the precursor to the national teacher evaluation system put forth in the Obama education platform.

Highly Effective Teachers: Defining, Rewarding, Supporting, and Expanding Their Roles

The success of these programs depends on whether states will be able to identify lasting funding sources. Professional Development and Diverse Roles Support Teacher Effectiveness Over the course of their careers, teachers should have opportunities to take on more complex assignments that don't necessarily take them out of the classroom.

And they should what does it mean to be an effective teacher compensated for taking on expanded roles, such as mentoring or leading school-based professional development, being involved in school policy decisions, and inducting new teachers. In 2008, 20 states formally recognized differentiated roles for teacher leaders, 17 provided rewards or incentives to teachers for taking on leadership roles, and 6 states provided incentives for National Board-certified teachers taking on differentiated roles.

Creating career ladders that allow highly effective teachers to coach new or struggling teachers also hits the dual goal of differentiated roles for teachers and professional development that supports highly effective teachers. Without ongoing professional development, differentiated pay and roles will what does it mean to be an effective teacher ineffective at improving teaching.

Weingarten contends that application criteria for funding under TIF should require plans for a strong, embedded professional development program so that the incentives create a structure for teacher improvement. And Darling-Hammond notes that, in most high-achieving countries, teachers are allotted 15—25 hours a week to plan collaboratively with colleagues Lantor-Fandel, 2009. The primary goal of teacher professional development is to improve student learning and raise achievement.

Therefore, capacity-building professional development begins with a plan for addressing students' specific learning needs, includes evaluation to determine the program's effectiveness, and engages teachers in ongoing collaboration toward clearly articulated outcomes.

In tough economic times, most districts cut what they deem non-classroom expenditures, like professional development and time for teacher collaboration, without considering the far-reaching effects.

Decreasing these teacher supports ultimately translates into decreased support for students Education Resource Strategies Inc. Instead, districts could redirect funds typically spent on increasing the quantity of teachers toward improving the effectiveness of current teachers.

Similarly, instead of investing in marginal reductions in class size, districts would better serve their students, research shows, by directing funds toward teacher effectiveness like coaches and mentors vetted through rigorous criteria for professional developmentreduced workloads for new teachers, and added support for high-needs schools.

The ARRA stimulus outlines many opportunities to apply funding toward capacity-building professional development. For more details about how funding is broken down and what professional development is covered under which appropriation, see ASCD's Planning the Possible: Targeted professional development programs should be driven by a high-quality teacher evaluation system that reflects a school or district's mission and goals see "Using Teacher Evaluations to Drive Effective Instruction" at right.

In addition, professional development should be intensive and ongoing, job-embedded and relevant, and aligned with a systemwide strategy for improving teacher effectiveness. One example of how to revamp current professional development policy to support highly effective teachers is to overhaul state licensure programs to more closely align with teacher and school needs, focusing on hours spent on classroom coaching and observation, collaborative planning time, and school-based content initiatives Education Resource Strategies Inc.

Pulling It All Together Some point to international models, like Singapore's, for systems that align preparation, incentives, what does it mean to be an effective teacher ladders, and strong professional support.

Currently no school districts in the United States systematically and successfully align policies that define, recognize, expand the roles of, and support highly effective teachers. This dearth of district examples and the critical need for highly effective teachers invites some words of caution. First, Berry what does it mean to be an effective teacher warns that "without making more public and transparent the complexities of good teaching and identifying and rewarding excellence, [we] will never develop a high-functioning, coherent teacher and principal development system.

Unfortunately, most schools lack valid, reliable measures of teacher effectiveness beyond readily quantifiable test scores or assumptions based on credentials.

To create a more precise and comprehensive definition of teacher effectiveness, education communities need a better understanding of teacher effectiveness. Better knowledge of what's working will better inform what should be rewarded, where teachers need support, and where teachers can support each other.

Vanguard Programs Are Clear, Ongoing, and Voluntary For developing incentive programs, experts advise that programs not be tied to high-stakes decisions, like dismissal; are clear about what they reward; are ongoing; and are voluntary. Jupp helped pave the way for Denver's ProComp, a program that allows teachers and supervisors who opt-in to use a combination of classroom observations and student achievement gains to both reward teacher effectiveness and help teachers focus their own professional development.

TAP provides teachers with an opportunity to earn performance pay and was developed as a way to attract highly effective teachers, improve instruction, and raise student achievement.

A voluntary program, TAP requires 75 percent of teachers to vote in favor of adoption. Initial analysis indicates that student achievement is generally better at schools using TAP programs, but it's hard to determine the fidelity of the application of these programs.

Still, TAP is what does it mean to be an effective teacher well-regarded in policy circles: Using Teacher Evaluations to Drive Effective Instruction The methods for assessing teaching practices reinforce the shared values and definitions of highly effective teaching.

In general though, teacher evaluations do not convey the complex nature of teaching, nor do they give teachers much actionable feedback about their effectiveness. Surprisingly, as of data collected in 2008, 8 states do not even require teachers' performance to be formally evaluated.

Only 12 states require teacher evaluations on an annual basis, 26 states require evaluators to receive formal training, and 12 states link teacher evaluations to student performance. In addition to the need for state-level priorities, Charlotte Danielson, an education consultant and former staffer at Educational Testing Services, outlines six main areas of deficiency in current teacher evaluation systems: Outdated, limited, evaluative what does it mean to be an effective teacher.

Few shared values and assumptions about good teaching. Lack of precision in evaluating performance. No differentiation between novice and experienced practitioners. Whereas teacher evaluation could be a powerful point of reflection, support, and growth, it's often used solely for punitive purposes. For example, 73 percent of teachers surveyed said their evaluations did not identify an area for development; 43 percent said evaluations helped them improve.

Manwaring speculates a scenario in which "you are one of the few teachers told that what does it mean to be an effective teacher need to make improvement in classroom management, but all year, all of your professional development is focused on teaching reading to English learners. How is the district supporting you in improving your shortcomings? For most other districts, the results of evaluations basically sit in folders in the district HR office, never to be looked at again by anyone.

If systems for evaluating teacher effectiveness are woefully inadequate and, therefore, not very useful, this data won't be valuable. Teacher evaluations should have meaningful summative quality assurance and formative professional growth functions.

Evaluation systems should drive effective instruction, not just measure it. Good teacher evaluations systems Are developed by multiple stakeholders including teachers.

Are aligned for emphasis on school goals.

Qualities of Effective Teachers, 3rd Edition

Are not solely under the purview of the principal. Give teachers ample opportunities and resources to improve. As of 2008, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Oklahoma require that teacher evaluations be formal, annual, and tied to student achievement and that evaluators receive formal training.

In the future, teacher evaluations will likely carry more financial incentives, as linking teachers with multiple measures of student data becomes less contentious and evaluation instruments become less subject to misuse or subjectivity. To translate this article, contact permissions ascd. Learn more about our permissions policy and submit your request online.