The Effective Teacher GPA Exercise includes 12 statements which describe a teacher practice grounded in research. For example, “I create opportunities where my students receive continuous and specific feedback that helps them improve” (Part 11 Exercise) is grounded in the work of Black and Wiliam (1998) among others. Teachers are encouraged to reflect on each statement and grade their performance.
At the beginning of professional development sessions or a class we ask teachers to take the Effective Teacher GPA self-assessment to help us set the stage for learning together. In our experience, teachers tend to assign themselves and other teachers grades that produce a “C” average. Ironically, research over the years tells us that when teachers apply these actions in their classrooms, students achieve higher scores on standardized tests.
In Part 1 of the Exercise we encouraged teachers to participate and to calculate their overall GPA using all 12 statements; we would do the same using aggregate poll responses of all participants. These are the results (N < 100):
As teachers we are not altogether responsible for failing to score an “A” on the self-assessment. However, by taking the Effective Teacher GPA we are able to think reflectively about how we need to modify our practices to focus more on what students learn rather than on the content we teach and the activities we do with students in class. The good news is that when teachers commit to applying the actions from the Effective Teacher GPA Exercise in their classrooms, teachers place students in winning situations where they are eager to learn, take on challenges, and own their learning.
As teachers we must enter our classrooms each day with the purpose in mind that comes from Coach John Wooden, one of the best basketball coaches and teachers of all time. To be effective teachers he tells us “we have not taught students, until they have learned” (Nater and Gallimore, 2006). Thus, we should not judge our effectiveness by how much we teach, what we teach, and how we teach. Rather, we must judge our work as teachers by viewing how well students learned, especially students who struggle the most.
Visit http://whosengaged.com/effectiveteachergpa to complete the Effective Teacher GPA and have your GPA results sent to you.
Black, P., and Wiliam, D. 1998. Inside the black box: raising standards through classroom assessment, Phi Delta Kappa, 80(2), pp. 139 – 144.
Nater, S., and Gallimore, R. 2006. You Haven’t Taught Until Students Have Learned: John Wooden’s Teaching Principles and Practices. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.
The Effective Teacher GPA is an exercise to help teachers reflect on their teaching practices. The content is from Who’s Engaged? Climb the Learning Ladder to See by Janet K. Pilcher (2012). For more information about this book or professional development opportunities for teachers associated with the book’s content see http://WhosEngaged.com or contact us at Questions@iTeacherSuite.com.
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