The Great Eight

Will our “Great 8” lead to great success?

This is the first year Burlington is implementing the revamped evaluation standards and techniques mandated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. While change is never easy and we are far from the day of knowing whether our efforts will be fruitful, I’ve put my full trust into our town’s administrators and our union’s leaders that the course we’ve charted is the best for students, teachers, and our community.

While it has been well documented that the state’s new evaluation standards include 33 indicators, Burlington has set its targets on what have been dubbed, “The Great Eight” indicators to get this process of the ground without becoming overwhelmed in the process.

Over the next ten months I’ll be thinking critically and working actively toward the following:

  • Demonstrating sound subject matter knowledge
  • Designing units of instruction that are rigorous and standards-based
  • Developing well-structured lessons with challenging, engaging objectives
  • Adjusting my practice based on the analysis of a variety of assessments
  • Engaging and motivate students during my lessons and programs
  • Guiding students to identify strengths, interests, and needs while challenging themselves
  • Using strategies that support families to participate in their child’s class and community.
  • Collaborating with colleagues while developing standards-based units, analyzing student performance, planning appropriate curriculum / interventions, and more.

While many of these standards I, without a doubt am working steadily toward on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis, there are some such as “adjusting my practice based on assessment” and “designing units of instruction that are rigorous and standards-based” that have not been a major piece of my experience at the Science Center thus far and will immediately make their mark on my teaching as I begin to brainstorm how and where I can best meet these expectations. I relish the opportunity to dive into these qualities of an effective teacher but also recognize there is certainly the possibility of ineffectiveness or out right failure. Fortunately I am not alone as our system aimed to achieve a number of shared goals between departments and fellow collaborators like Wendy and I.

What are your expectations of your evaluation process? How will the process help you reflect and become a better teacher?

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About MrMusselman

K-5 Science Specialist for the Burlington Public Schools of Burlington, MA.
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