Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013 - (Page 15)

PRESIDENT’S VIEW By: Rita Muratalla Bullitt County Schools “H Feedback for Teachers Inside and Out of the Classroom elp them until they get better or leave.” This was the best advice I could have received during my first few years as an administrator in regard to how to motivate ineffective staff. From that day forward, I worked overtime on supporting staff members. This is the season when personnel issues devour our time and Wayne Young receives phone calls day and night. The quote above and my experience have helped me fine tune my dilemma of whether or not to renew a staff member. Early in the year, with the hundreds of walk-through observations I conduct, I provide feedback and support for struggling staff members. Teachers who come to our school are not accustomed to this intentional practice by administrators. The norm for some has been teaching in isolation or with a team, and it is often shared that feedback is sparse or not given at all. In an article I read recently, Principal as Mirror1, these observations were shown to be correct. “Teachers close their doors and do marvelous things with dozens of students every day, but another adult in the classroom is a rarity—and another adult to give feedback is rarer still.” In order to make rapid gains in helping teachers, according to Cain and Laird in their book The Fundamental 52 it is essential to have “…increased monitoring and support of classroom teachers by campus instructional leadership and support personnel.” The formative and summative observations are not always enough to provide the data needed to make an educated decision about the future of our students. Through feedback comes support. It is essential to start that process through documentation of how the support takes place and to continue documentation every step of the way. This can be accomplished through peer coaching, teaching observation, working with an instructional coach or by modeling what is expected yourself. Each of these tactics has a place in the personnel process. After every walk-through observation, feedback should be given and suggestions made. During frequent conferences with struggling teachers, I review these in person and look for evidence of improvement in the next walk-through observation. Our district requires us to have a midyear review of all non-tenured staff members, although we try to be more proactive and work with staff members to provide extra assistance as the need arises. But, what happens if a teacher was effective at past review touch points and has since regressed? In those cases, it is not too late. I use a conference request email and follow up with a form to always make sure that the staff member knows where he or she stands. After nextstep actions are designed, we set a new date to meet after allowing time for the person to improve. We outline an action plan and print and sign copies so that we both have a record of the expectations that have been set. It is also important to apprise the staff member of his or her due process abilities in order to protect against the grievances and litigation that can result from personnel issues. Just like our students, teachers need constructive feedback to ensure they continue to grow. ✎ References 1 Hoerr, Thomas R. (March 2013). Principal Connection/Principal as Mirror. Educational Leadership, Vol. 70, No. 6, p. 86-87. 2 Cain, Sean & Laird, Mike. (May 2011). The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Kentucky School Leader Spring | Summer 2013 • 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013

Note from the Editor
Smart Decisions and Techno-fear: Evaluating Equity, Cyber-Bullying and Awareness
The Code of Ethics Turns 18
Golden Rule is Cornerstone of Ethical Leadership
Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools
President's View: Feedback for Teachers Inside and Out of the Classroom
Diapers to Diplomas: A Marriage of Career Readiness and Early Childhood Development
From the Executive Director's Desk: The Shifting Landscape of Education Law
Advertiser Index

Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013