Use Observation Data to Reflect in Humble Inquiry

Our data shows some students are struggling in our lessons. Now what?

This is the pivotal moment.  Do we focus on providing supports to the students who demonstrate struggle? Or do we also focus on how to evolve our teaching? Are we using data only to sort students for services, or also to challenge our assumptions and change our approach?

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Observe with an Asset Orientation

We have high expectations. We actively engage students. We observe to take notes on what they say and do. We are feeling on top of our formative data-gathering game!

Then, brain science enters the equation with humbling news: We don’t always see what’s right in front of us. This is especially true when we have implicit biases—which, as humans, we always do. We have all been conditioned by false narratives about racial difference, language hierarchies, and gender differences—whether we believe them or not.

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A Tale of Two Teacher Collaborations

Every day—in classrooms, in staff rooms, in online communities—teachers come together to collaborate. We love to connect, build community, share ideas, and help each other better serve our kids. But is it always effective? Compare these approaches.

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Engage Every Teacher in Raising EL Achievement

The caliber of core teaching has the greatest influence on whether or not our English Learners (ELs) thrive. Consider the following: Three in four U.S. classrooms have at least one student who is an English learner. Even in schools with EL specialists, ELs spend the majority of their instructional day with core classroom teachers. We know this, yet too often forget it when designing EL programs and solutions. Instead, many…

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Albuquerque Teacher Leaders Open Doors to Observation Inquiry

“Instead of brushfires for excellence, we need infernos of excellence. Our project will do this.” In a packed hotel conference room in Albuquerque, New Mexico, teacher leader Maureen Torrez, NBCT, describes the observation inquiry pilot project she and her team of National Board Certified Teachers are leading to deepen how teachers and students learn in Albuquerque public schools.

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Seven Ways to Raise Expectations for All Students

We need every teacher to believe in the full potential of every kid. Most of us share this belief, in theory. In practice, things get a little more complicated. It’s easy, for example, in a school where most students underperform, to adjust our expectations of what is possible to fit what we see. It is much more challenging to hold a vision that extends beyond the status quo, and help kids grow into that vision.

Here seven powerful practices you can use in your school to raise expectations for all students, especially ELLs, students of color, students living in poverty, or any students who are not yet thriving.

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