In my state, the planning portion of the teacher effectiveness rubric makes up 10% of the total. That doesn't seem like much, but planning has a big impact on instruction, which carries a weight of 75%.
Five planning competencies are spelled out in my state rubric. Let's take a look at them and consider how this will affect the steps I take this summer:
- Utilize assessment data to plan
- Set ambitious and measurable goals
- Develop standards-based unit plans and assessments
- Create objective-driven lesson plans and assessments
- Track student data and analyze progress
Competency 3 asks me to use backward planning* to develop unit plans. I need to start with a standard, find or develop a summative assessment, and consider the student activities that I'll use to teach the concepts. In my state, teachers may achieve an "effective" rating by using ready-made units, but to be classified as "highly effective," they must create their own.
Competency 4 deals with creating plans for each individual lesson. For a "highly effective" rating, I'll need to include differentiation and formative assessment.
Teachers may ask, "Does this mean that I need to develop formal lesson plans for every lesson of every unit I teach?" No. You can use units written by others and/or textbook units. It's your job, however, to make sure the assessment reflects the standards and that each lesson prepares students for that assessment. To work toward a "highly effective" rating, start with one unit, develop it well, and then move on to the next one. You know that Rome wasn't built in a day, and creating unit plans is a time-consuming endeavor.
Checking my teacher assessment expectations steers me toward some important planning this summer. I need to look over the unit plans I already teach, think about what needs to be changed . . . and, if I'm ambitious, create one or two complete unit plans of my own.
There's no time like the present! Take a peek at the expectations for your evaluation, and make a plan!
*Backward planning is a term used in Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. Briefly, it means creating the assessment first then writing the unit plans.