Common Language of Instruction  

December 21, 2014
Many schools across ESU 10 are working to develop a common language of instruction through the establishment of an instructional framework with a corresponding comprehensive teacher supervision and evaluation model. The framework offers a structure in which educators, administrators, students, and parents can communicate about educational excellence. In pursuit of this goal, several ESU 10 member districts have chosen to implement the Marzano Teacher Supervision and Evaluation Framework. ESU 10 Teaching and Learning staff are assisting ESU 10 member districts with the process of implementation. 

The Marzano Teacher Supervision and Evaluation Framework thoroughly describes the complex work of teaching, categorizing elements of highly effective teachers into the following four domains:
•  Domain 1 – Classroom Strategies and Behaviors
•  Domain 2 – Planning and Preparation
•  Domain 3 – Reflecting on Teaching
•  Domain 4 – Collegiality and Professionalism
With 41 out of 60 total elements, Domain 1 includes the majority of the elements. Domain 1 is further divided into the three sub-categories of Involves Routines, Addresses Content in Specific Ways, and Enacted on the Spot (Marzano & Toth, Teacher Evaluation that Makes a Difference, 2013). 

While it is relatively easy to choose a research-based model for teacher evaluation, it is much more difficult to implement a model in a way that truly makes a difference – a way that is meaningful to teachers and realizes the promise of improving teaching and learning for staff and students alike. According to Marzano:
     ... an effective evaluation system with the primary goal of teacher development requires a thoughtful, multiphase implementation and monitoring plan. Every student deserves a highly effective classroom teacher; every teacher deserves valid and reliable feedback. Yet it takes time, training, practice, and well-organized systems to build the capacity of an organization to create both skillful classroom teachers and skillful teacher evaluators (2013).

In order for an evaluation model to make a difference through providing a framework for delivering actionable feedback that truly impacts instruction, all staff – administrators and teachers alike – must be committed to the model, have a deep understanding of the model, and have the necessary support to set and reach goals for improvement within the model.

-Marzano, R. J., & Toth, M. D. (2013). Teacher Evaluation that Makes a Difference. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

?by Emily Jameson, Teaching & Learning Coordinator