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Adventures of 6th

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Marzano, PTL, learning goals

Posted 12-11-2010 at 08:30 AM by imalith

Last week I finished up my last PTL, Professional Teaching and Learning class. I also had an opportunity to see Bob Marzano speak at a 2-day conference.

I've been reflecting on this and drew a few conclusions. PTL is about observing other teachers' classroom and reflecting on indicators or criteria that relate to good teaching. There are only a few major indicators, so it is easy to focus on them. The problem is that teachers have to leave their classrooms for the observations and many times you will look for evidence and have a "not today" moment. The spontaneous "pop-in" is not conducive to finding good teaching, hence we waste time. perhaps a teacher is working on a routine activity again, not productive to our conversation.

Marzano's idea is more complicated. There are 18 indicators. Teachers can analzyze their own teaching skills based on his rubrics. After this analysis you make a choice of which to focus on for improvement. You can make your PLC team or administrator aware of your improvement goal and then make strides towards improving your teaching. You can have people observe your teaching based on this criteria. Reflecting with your PLC generates great conversation about teaching. It is a self-generated and reflective program, so it meets the needs of individual teachers' teaching styles and their needs at the time of their professional growth.

With Marzano's idea, the teacher always gets to be part of the process, therefore can explain the why for all those things that happen in a day. With PTL the teacher visited does not explain the why. People are left to guess. PTL is more surface level. Marzano goes deeper.

Our district is really pushing PTL through the elementary, but they have ignored the upper levels. Why? Of course because we are the red-haired step children of the academic world! We stand up for our rights and question whenever someone tries to push something on us. We are over-worked! Do we want to improve in our teaching? yes! However our building culture is more receptive to improvement if it is self-driven. For some reason, this is not the culture of elementary teachers.

My own personal goal this year has been to focus on writing my learning goals and making students constantly aware of how the lesson is relevant to the learning goal. I just came up with a better idea to improve student awareness of the learning goals and to have students reflect on their learning.

I'm going to have a goal form. They will write the learning goal. After taking the test, I return the tests and students reflect on what they did right or what they missed. They then choose to redo to gain evidence of learning and may reflect back after the redo about their improvement.
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