Promoting Success for Teachers of English Learners Through Structured Observations
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 requires state education agencies (SEAs) to have a plan to ensure that students of color and those from low-income families, groups that have historically included many English learners, are not served disproportionately by “ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced” teachers.
One way to ensure that all students have equitable access to well-prepared, effective teachers is to establish evidence-based systems that clearly articulate the competencies a teacher must possess to be successful in educating all students to high standards. These systems would also encourage, guide, and support teachers as they work to improve their knowledge base and instructional practices. To support educators of ELs, the Council of Chief State School Officers' (CCSSO) English Learner State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards empaneled two working groups composed of SEA leaders, district leaders, and staff from CCSSO, the American Institutes for Research, and Education Northwest.
These working groups integrated attributes characteristic of effective teachers of ELs and exemplars of effective instructional practices for ELs into two widely used teacher evaluation and support systems—the Danielson Framework for Teaching and the Marzano Focused Teacher Evaluation Model. The working group produced an overview report as well as two tools to guide educators in implementing EL-enhanced practices.
The overview report, Promoting Success for Teachers of English Learners Through Structured Observations:
- describes the process used to produce the tools;
- highlights the transformational impact that targeted, iterative, and regular observation and feedback can have on improving teaching practice;
- emphasizes the need to provide specialized support for teachers with ELs in their classrooms; and
- illustrates the competencies that well-prepared teachers of ELs should demonstrate.
This tool supports educators who are using the Danielson Framework for Teaching. The tool adds critical attributes for effective teaching of ELs and exemplars in the form of examples, resources, and exhibits to the Framework to guide educators in supporting ELs. Examples are brief descriptions of what the critical attributes might look like in practice. Exhibits are tools that can be used to collect and enter data and support ELs’ learning. Resources provide information to help teachers put into practice the EL critical attributes.
This tool supports educators who are using the Marzano Focused Teacher Evaluation Model. Unlike the Model itself, this tool is not an evaluation tool; rather, it is a coaching tool for teachers and other educators (such as principals, supervisors, coordinators, and coaches) whose job is to support these teachers. As is the case with the tool aligned with the Danielson Framework, the Marzano tool adds critical attributes for ELs and exemplars in the form of examples, resources, and exhibits to guide educators in supporting ELs.