What is good teaching?

During recent professional development sessions with the faculties at the Old Turnpike School and the Tewksbury Elementary School, we discussed what good teaching looks like. In order to be objective, we referenced the Danielson Framework for Teaching. The Framework identifies teaching responsibilities within the context of specific domains and components. The domains of learning environments and instruction provided the focus for our discussions.

One of the points that came through during both sessions was the realization that no one is perfect. However, it was noted that it was absolutely necessary to strive for perfection in order to achieve and maintain excellence. I was very impressed with the insights and specific examples that the teachers provided as we analyzed instructional techniques utilizing video clips and written activities.

As many of you may be aware, teacher and principal evaluation procedures have been recently outlined by the state via legislation and detailed regulations. The Tewksbury staff has been ahead of the mandates by having used the Danielson Framework for a few years. We are now in the process of refining the evaluation tool and further enhancing instructional skills. The bottom line is that I believe that we are observing good teaching becoming great teaching on a very large scale throughout our school district.

During the weeks ahead, the staff will be working together on the ongoing process of teacher evaluation and the ongoing enhancement of instruction. The Tewksbury learning community is poised to move forward by utilizing a software application that aligns with the Danielson Framework. The web based application is called Teachscape.

As I have stated in the past, “The best learners make the best teachers.”

Jim Gamble

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