This book seeks to make the Danielson Model’s use in the evaluation process empowering for teachers. It strives to break the Danielson Model down into ways that educators can better understand its purpose, finding ways to integrate it into daily practice. It seeks to create a reflective dialogue in evaluations about pedagogy, analyzing why we do what we do.
This book describes how to craft one’s teaching in accordance to the Danielson Model. Developed by education specialist Charlotte Danielson, the model has four domains to it:
I. Planning and Preparation
II. The Classroom Environment
Each domain has separate standards within it. This book will describe both parts in detail.
The hope is that this book will allow the Danielson Model to enhance one’s approach in the classroom setting and assist with the evaluation process. It will help teachers discover new paths towards effectiveness in working with students, where learning comes alive for students and provide a means for professional reflection about one’s craft and their place within it. This book seeks to make an organic connection between the Danielson Model and one’s daily practice.
Right now, there are two teachers whose rooms are next to one another. One of them has been teaching for about 19 years. She has endured multiple administrators and even more evaluations. As she receives the notification that her evaluation is scheduled for this year, she shrugs her shoulders and says, “This is no different than any other time. They’ll come in, look around, and give me a good review. It’s nothing new,” she thinks to herself.
In the adjacent room is a younger teacher. This is his first year and he has received a similar notification that he is up for evaluation this year. He panics at the thought of “them” coming in and evaluating him. He immediately starts to plan out the “dog and pony” show that he thinks “they” need to see. “This is what they want to see,” he thinks to himself.
Both teachers are wrong. They are wrong because they are operating under an outdated paradigm regarding teacher evaluation. They are wrong because they are going to receive their evaluation document very soon. Ever since their district has moved to the Danielson Model, things have become very different. Soon, both teachers will be confronted with language that never quite entered their minds regarding evaluations. Terms like “domains” and “3.C” will become the basis of their evaluations.
And it will be at this moment that both teachers on diametric opposite ends of the teaching continuum will realize that things are not quite what they seemed to be.
The Danielson Model is one of the most significant changes in teacher evaluation in quite some time. At some point, every teacher will interact with the Danielson Model. Teachers who have been in the classroom for some time are going to be surprised with the intricacies of the Danielson Model metric for evaluation. In years past, evaluations might have been perceived as “informal,” something that merely confirmed that the evaluator knew that the teacher was “doing a good job.” However, as administration has become more transient and as external pressures on education have increased, the reality is that those in the position of power might not be as willing to embrace informality as in the past. Administrators in this position or who don’t know teaching staff will use the Danielson Model as a way to judge their staff. Add to this the growing pressure to move away from traditional salary structures and embrace a more “performance based” reality and it becomes clear that the Danielson Model is something that will change previous views of evaluations.
Teachers who are just starting their careers will initially find that the Danielson Model is another item placed on an already crowded plate. To be evaluated in over 20 different categories is daunting to simply read over. In many districts, a copy of the Danielson Model usually consists of a double digit paged packet. Handing this to a first or second year teacher is analogous to putting a gazelle in the middle of a hungry pride of lions.
This book will have served its purpose if educators can be empowered in ensuring that the Danielson Model can help to deliver quality instruction for all. It will explain the language of the Danielson Model and how teachers can apply this language to what they do. The hope is that both teachers whose rooms are next to one another and experiencing the same challenges in the Danielson Model in their evaluation can find ground upon which comfort and greatness can emerge.