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Conducting post observation conferences


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tips on how to enhance the impact of post observation feedback conferences to teachers anchored on the Biophysical model of responses to threat from a paper presented by Jeannie Young and Krissia Martinez (July 2013)

Published in: Education
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Conducting post observation conferences

  1. 1. Strategies for Enhancing the Impact of Post Observation Conference to Teachers Marilu S. Bandolon Facilitator
  2. 2. Objectives: The participants are expected to: 1. describe an effective post observation conference 2.Identify the strategies in enhancing post observation conference 3.Describe the strategies in enhancing post observation conferences 4.Demonstrate appropriate ways of conducing effective post observation conferences
  3. 3. Let’s revisit our current practices in conducting post observation conference to teachers. Activity 1 1. The Boat is Sinking 2. Identify a group leader and a rapporteur for your group 3. Answer the questions assigned to your group. Answers on the data retrieval chart. 4. Do this activity in 10 minutes. 5. Report your work as soon as your group is called.
  4. 4. Group 1: Establishing a positive climate in starting the post observation conference 1. How do you start the post observation conference? What specific tasks do you do? What statements or questions do you use to start the post observation conference? List them down. 2. What do you do to clarify what the teacher is telling you? 3. How do you validate that the teacher demonstrated what he or she is telling you?
  5. 5. Group 2: Focusing on what’s going well 1. How do you guide the teacher in identifying her/his strengths demonstrated during the delivery of the lesson? a. What do you say to begin? Write it down. b. What questions do you ask the teacher? List them down. c. Do you clarify ideas which you think are not clear to you? How do you do it? List down the prompts or the guide questions that you think helped you bring out the desired response from the teacher? d. How do you affirm the strengths of the teacher? List down the questions/statements/prompts that you use? e. What challenges do you face as instructional leader in doing this? f. What do you do to address these challenges?
  6. 6. Group 3: Identifying and summarizing the challenges faced by the teacher Study the excerpt of the STAR notes taken from a lesson taught by a teacher: Situation: During the presentation of the lesson in expressing & writing money as pesos and centavos Task: 1. The teacher presented the lesson by using allowing the children watch a video clip showing the evolution of the Philippine peso bills and coins. Asked the children about what they saw on the video 2. Matching play money with money values written on meta cards Action: The children watched the video The children matched money values written in meta strips with play money Result: The children matched money values with 75% accuracy
  7. 7. Considering the contents of the STAR notes: 1. How would you guide the teacher in identifying his/her specific teaching challenge? a. What questions would you ask to guide her/him in identifying his/her teaching challenge? 2. What do you do to clarify/validate what the teacher is saying has been demonstrated in the delivery of the lesson? Write sample questions or statements that will help you do it. 3. Do you summarize the challenges identified by you and the teacher? How do you do it? 4. Present a role play to demonstrate your responses.
  8. 8. Group 4: Generating ideas for addressing the teaching challenges Using the STAR notes given to you, present a panel discussion that will demonstrate your responses to the guide questions below: 1. How would you guide the teacher in identifying strategies/activities that will help him/her address the teaching challenges that you have seen from the STAR notes. Cite/formulate questions that would help you do this. 2. In cases when the teacher cannot think/cite ideas in improving/meeting the teaching challenges identified, what would you do? Cite the appropriate questions/statements that would help you do this. 3. Do you summarize what you have agreed? Why? How would you do it?
  9. 9. Group 5: Ending positively 1. What would you do to end the post observation conference positively? 2. List down all the possible statements or questions you would use to end the post observation conference. 3. Write your answers on the Manila Paper provided to you.
  10. 10. How about putting our hands together for our job well done……..
  11. 11. Let’s reflect! 1. What post observation strategies were highlighted in the group presentations? 2. What are the specific tasks that teachers and instructional leaders do in each part of the post observation meeting? 3. What tool/s helped the instructional leaders in revisiting the teaching delivery during the post observation meeting? 4. Were the processes and tasks useful to you as instructional leaders? 5. In what way can we apply the processes in relation to the CBPAST post observation conference? 6. What insights did you gain from the activity?
  12. 12. Strategies in Enhancing Post Observation Conference to Teachers The observation process: -an accountability-oriented activity -to gather data as feedback to instructional leaders and teachers for teacher development and promotion The post observation conference: -learning-focused feedback conversations that promote teacher self reflection , self analysis and self development -a challenging task since teachers and instructional leaders must skillfully attend to the tensions that arise where the goals of accountability and learning intersect
  13. 13. Post observation conference: - is a follow conference between the teacher and an instructional leader. It is an important supervisory technique for the improvement of instruction. -learning-focused feedback conversations that promote teacher self reflection , self analysis and self development - challenging task since teachers and instructional leaders must skillfully attend to the tensions that arise where the goals of accountability and learning intersect
  14. 14. The Biophysical Model of Responses to Threats (Jeannie Myung and Krissia Martinez, 2003) “The way we perceive a situation determines whether that event will be psychologically processed as a threat or received as a challenge.” Threat responses mobilize our minds and even our bodies in extreme ways, raising our heart rate or releasing hormones or other stress chemicals that facilitate the fight or flight responses. Most often, the perception of threat evokes an automatic reaction that is biased toward survival. Challenges mobilize the body similarly to responses, but in such a way that the mind is still flexible and open to changes or alternatives, allowing space for creativity or thoughtfulness.
  15. 15. Under motivated performance conditions, we experience a sense of challenge when we feel we can access the necessary resources to fulfill the demands facing us, otherwise, we experience a sense of threat. The Biophysical Model of responses Threat has direct relevance to the way instructional leaders process the post observation conference and provide feedback to the teachers. A teacher who is process observed and undergoes feedback process can view the process as a threat to her or as a challenge for improving her teaching skills. Consequently, the way teachers perceive the post observation process (the interaction between him/her and he instructional leader) can have a profound effect on whether it leads to improved practice or not.
  16. 16. Figure 1: A teacher’s appraisal of the relative balance of the demands and resources of an evaluative situation will influence the extent to which he/she experiences challenges versus threat Demands Danger Uncertainty Effort Resources Knowledge Abilities Dispositions External Support Threat Challenge
  17. 17. According to the theory, it’s not the feedback per se that causes teachers to react positively or negatively, but it’s the perceived meaning of the feedback or the recipient’s interpretation or appraisal of it that can result to either a threat or a challenge, which in return will affect his/her willingness to respond to he/she hears. If the teacher positively appraises his/her ability, has knowledge of the evaluation process, trusts his relationship with the instructional leader, and has a sense of belongingness in the school community , it is likely that the teacher will experience the post observation process as a challenge and an opportunity to share his strengths and receive feedback on how to improve.
  18. 18. If the teacher is uncertain about what to expect from the observation and feedback process, lacks trust in his administrator, or doesn’t feel a sense of belongingness in the school community, it is likely that the teacher will experience the post observation process as a threat. This can interfere with the teacher’s interpretation and willingness to respond to what he hears. To foster receptivity and learning-oriented feedback process, instructional managers and teachers need to remain attuned to the potential for the threat response and see to it that teachers see this process as an opportunity for growth – a chance to meet this challenge of continuous improvement of teaching practices.
  19. 19. Threats to Teachers in Post Observation Conferences (Research based Findings) 1. Evaluation based on thin slice -teachers are threatened when judgments given are based on infrequent observations done by instructional leaders. Infrequent observation hampers the instructional leaders’ ability to give useful feedback because the scarcity of the classroom visits cannot provide them with insufficient data as basis of their evaluation.
  20. 20. 2. Unclear expectations -teachers prefer announced visits to unannounced visit, as they allow for mental preparation. However, even in the case of announced visits, they reported that they do not know what to expect from the post observation -they enter into feedback conversation, unsure of the purpose, of what is to come, and therefore distracted by insecurities.
  21. 21. 3. Sense of disempowerment -the common expression from instructional leaders “I am here to help you” is perceived by teachers as rhetoric and seldom demonstrated by instructional leaders. -teachers will perceive an empowerment from an instructional leader if they experience professional support from them and see observation as not solely to judge them
  22. 22. 4. Absence of helpful information -few of the teachers could recall a single piece of concrete feedback from the post observation conference that helped to improve their teaching skills. -most often the feedback conversation resulted to a summary of the lesson and a description of their performance which does not specify a learning point that guide them in improving their teaching skills.
  23. 23. A teacher who is under stress during the feedback conversation has a heightened sensitivity to negative cues or threat markers such s negative verbal and non-verbal communication. This occurs when an individual is in a mindset of mistrust, and reinforces the idea that the person is not trustworthy. -Robyn Jackson
  24. 24. Tools and Strategies that can be Used in Feedback Conversations 1. Scaffold listening strategies to foster an improvement – oriented conversation a. Emphatic body language b. Posing helpful questions, eg “I observed (OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVEMENT) in your class. . Help me understand what happened.” c. Validating employee expression through consideration conversation turn taking d. Paraphrasing to ensure mutual understanding “It sounds like what’s challenging you is ________” e. Drawing out “What student actions indicated the need for improvement?” f. Taking down notes g. Asking follow up questions
  25. 25. A principal who can expertly utilize the listening strategies when conducting post observation feedback conversation can probe deeply into difficult issues and redirect the conversation when needed, and consequently make the teacher feel heard and understood. 2. Sequence the conversation into a predictable format -start with an affirmation of what is working. Starting with a positive note affirms for teachers that the conversation will be focused on supporting them to become better teachers and helps clarify that they are not at risk of being labeled as ineffective.
  26. 26. 3. Address the teachers’ concerns -to foster a climate of autonomous, self-reflective colleagueship, instructional leaders must enable teachers to be primarily responsible for judging the success of their work. -instructional leaders gain insights and gather suggestions for the teacher during and after the observation, but teachers also have unique insights into the challenges she faces in her classroom. -the task of the instructional leader is to make sure that the identified teacher challenges must be addressed by providing timely, helpful, specific and appropriate feedback so that it would improve teaching effectiveness.
  27. 27. 4. Co-develop next steps -the instructional leader and the teacher ideally should create a doable plan together anchored on the principle of improving the identified teacher challenges from the observation and post observation feedback conversation -developing the plan for improvement must be interactive and should allow opportunity to the teacher to verbalize her insights which felt comfortable sharing. -the instructional leader’s expertise and access to resources and the teacher’s first hand knowledge of her teaching skills and her class, challenges and strengths provide the information to best identify the next steps
  28. 28. Putting it All Together: Design Principles at Work (A model for a successful feedback conversation after an observation) 1. Begin with a warm and clear opening in which the teacher reviews the aim of the lesson observed and articulates her aim for the for the feedback conversation. The principal must similarly state her aim for the for the feedback conversation 2. Both focus on the positive aspect of the lesson. The teacher is given the opportunity to talk about what she thought went well. The instructional leader reiterates and affirm what the teacher mentioned and then extend the positive focus by commenting on other things that went well in the lesson
  29. 29. 3. The teacher and the instructional leader identify the areas for improvement. The teacher would be given the opportunity to talk about what she thought are areas or challenges. The instructional leader validates/probes further so that teacher challenges are properly and appropriately identified. 4. The instructional leader guides the teacher in identifying possible strategies in addressing the challenges. The IL might help problem solve these challenges with the teacher or connect the teacher to available and appropriate resources. The principal would offer ideas for improvement. Both would generate and prioritize the next steps together.
  30. 30. 5. The feedback conversation would end with revisiting/summarizing the next steps and with a mutual appreciation for the time spent in the conversation. Throughout the conversation, the IL would paraphrase the teacher’s concerns and the teacher is prompting the principal for a deeper clarification when necessary
  31. 31. Drawing on the long standing psychological theories of how our minds and bodies mobilize to deal with stress, the suggested strategies for enhancing the impact of post observation feedback form teachers builds on the premise that teaching evaluations holds the potential to do both harm and good. Feedback following a classroom observation can be a powerful resource to encourage teachers in pedagogical advancement and steady improvement of practice. However if handled badly, feedback can threaten teachers, causing them to stick t what they thought worked in their classrooms. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching suggests the Feedback Conversation Protocol as a useful guide in conducting pos observation feedback conversation between the IL and the teacher.
  32. 32. Self Check! 1. Why is there a need to make teachers feel that class observation and post observation feedback conversation should be a challenge rather than a threat? 2. In what way can the suggested tool and the process be blended with the CBPAST IS tool that we use? 3. Is the tool useful to you as an instructional leader? Cite instances where it is most useful. 4. Write a reflective journal regarding the suggested post observation process and tool. Use the given format.
  33. 33. Instructional leader’s reward…… THE REWARD OF A THING WELL DONE IS HAVING DONE IT. Ralph Waldo Emerson American Essayist, lecturer and poet (1803-1882) Quot e