Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Annual Review Meetings and Engagement

From Wesley Fryer

Just a thought:

"How are we measuring engagement in our classrooms?
  • Who is asking the most questions in your classroom?
  • Who is doing the most thinking in your classroom?
Conversations, particularly spontaneous conversations which are initiated by students, can be a good sign of engagement and engaged learning in the classroom."

Participation, says Wes, is a beginning but not a clear correlation with engagement. At our school we have just participated in our annual review meetings which were set up differently this year. We were to figure out some way of having a third voice critique our classroom teaching or our role. Some chose to videotape a class, some chose to do anonymous student surveys, some chose to have a class observed by another colleague and then a conversation was arranged between an individual teacher and an appraiser who helped us reflect on our learning through the process. So many teachers wanted to work on engagement but how to measure this? Wes suggests the number of conversations happening is one measure and I think it’s a good one, as by that measure my classes do tend to be full of engagement. (grin) I will reflect more seriously on my third voice experience in a later post.

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  1. Jo,

    What a great idea: bringing in a third voice to critique and augment the reflective process. Was this an admin-level decision to ask teachers to do this? What was the teacher reaction when they were asked to do this?

  2. Hi Patrick, yes it was an admin decision. Our Principal announced it to a varied response, I saw some horrified faces, but most were intrigued. It made lots more conversation happen among teachers, and I saw poeople carrying around video cameras with tripods. I wanted to do all of the methods but limited myself to 2.