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Module 1, Principle 5: Observe Teaching

Effective principals observe candidates actually presenting a lesson   before they make hiring decisions. While the screening and interview process gives principals important information about a candidate’s values and experiences, the only way to know whether a candidate is an effective teacher is to observe a candidate in action and evaluate their performance. Hiring principals can use their teacher observation rubric to evaluate a teacher candidate’s performance and provide feedback to the candidate. Using this rubric will help align  hiring decision  with teaching practices as defined in the district,  and help the  teacher candidate understand the approach to teaching expected in the district.

Observing teaching adds time to the hiring process. Therefore, effective principals  begin the process as early as possible. Effective principals can be creative in implementing teacher observations. Hiring principals can:

  • Observe candidates’ teaching at their school. Teacher candidates can teach a sample lesson for a class of students or a group of teachers or staff.
  • Observe candidates’ teaching at the candidate’s current school.
  • Have teacher candidates film a mock lesson and upload it to YouTube or another online video service.
  • Have candidates walk through a sample lesson plan if the hiring principal cannot observe the candidate’s instruction.

Quick Reads

Read the following research brief:

Cannata, M., Rubin, M., Goldring, E., Drake, T.A., Grissom, J. A., Neumerski, C. M., & Schuermann, P. (2014). Using Teacher Effectiveness Data for Information-Rich Hiring.

Reflection Activity

Selecting and prioritizing indicators for candidate observation:

  • Based on the case study you completed for Principle 2, use your teacher observation rubric to develop at least four important indicators for a candidate observation based on your candidate profile. How do these indicators help you assess the candidate’s effectiveness and fit? Consider the position for which you are hiring and the candidate’s experience in your responses.
  • Make notes on your reflections and save them for future reference. You will use these notes as you prepare your response to the summative activity for this module.

Continue to Module 1: Summative Activity