Policy Recommendation 4:
For frequent observations; commit to participating in a genuine feedback loop with the observed teachers.
In all professional fields, members of Gen Y desire feedback. Gen Y professionals want to be respected through their superiors’ dedication to observe them and then meaningfully reflect on that observation. They want to be effective and appreciate assistance in accomplishing that. And the teachers of this generation are no different. Data from both focus groups and the nationwide survey indicate that Gen Y educators are calling for a more structured system of observation and feedback so as to test instructional strategies and improve practice. One important component of a sustainable system of observation and feedback is the inclusion of peer review—a model successfully being used by teachers and administrators in Toledo, Ohio, since 1981.
The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), created by researchers at the University of Virginia, is a structured system of classroom observation that has been shown to correlate with student achievement. CLASS is a performance-management system that uses in-class and video observations to evaluate teacher-student interactions (Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2007). The CLASS cycle involves practitioners videotaping their instruction, sending it for a targeted review, and receiving thoughtful and pointed feedback. CLASS is currently being implemented in Virginia and is used by professional development providers throughout the country.