BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON – Being an effective teacher has many facets.
Creating challenging learning experiences, using technology, engaging students and integrating skills across disciplines are just a few of the dozens of skills teachers are expected to master.
Ideas on the best way to judge an effective teacher were presented to the Davis School Board this week by Patti Brown, director of quality education at the district.
The system used in past years is being updated to be in compliance with new state law, according to Brown.
After considering input from teachers, parents and students, a new system known as Evaluate Davis was proposed to the board.
It whittles the 280 identifiers listed in Utah Effective Teaching Standards, published by the Utah State Office of Education, to a more manageable 21.
Besides fulfilling the law and being easy to use, Brown said a goal of the new program is to promote professional growth, because “even the best of us can get better,” she said.
The evaluative tool calls for multiple unscheduled observations for all educators, annual parent and student surveys, annual measurement of student growth and “evidence of instructional effectiveness presented by the educator and the aministrator,” according to a flyer presented to the board.
Board members expressed concern over the time required of school administrators to conduct the observations, and noted that the law was another unfunded mandate from the state.
In a video shown to the board in their workshop, Superintendent Bryan Bowles said great teachers have always been key Р from as far back as Plato and Socrates.
He said the proposed change in evaluation is required as the state moves toward performance-based pay.
Teachers will have annual training from a supervisor and establish a professional growth plan that includes “self-assessment, goals, professional development, professional contributions and educator reflection on progress,” according to the flyer.
The district is also designing a mobile ap that will aggregate data from the field.
“We have many really exceptional teachers,” Brown told board members, “we want to move from good to great.”
With feedback and reflection, she said, teachers can always be working to be better so they can achieve the district goal of Learning First.
Board president Tamara Lowe said that in meeting with student advisory councils, every single group listed the same, simple traits when discussing their favorite teachers:
“They like what they’re doing, they like me, they like the subject,” she quoted them as saying.