Sunday, October 27, 2013

NAfME Pre-Conference Day Two

What another incredible day!!! Lots of great information was shared, plus practical examples and opportunities to put the info to use.

On a side note, some of the presenters used for us to interact... pretty cool stuff!

Here is the basic summary of the topics and discussions today:

Introduction to the Workbook - Kelly Parkes, VA Tech
What IS evidence of student achievement?
How do we collect and track the data?
School systems are being asked to implement a "one size fits all" system
The NAfME Workbooks are available for general music and school ensemble focus.
The need for these workbooks is outlined on the NAfME website.

Workbook in Detail:
Divided into: Introduction, Use, Sample Forms, Opportunity to Learn, References, Resources, Comparison Chart (between Workbook, Danielson, Marzano, and McREL)

**Designed to be used by an evaluator with a music background, or to at least bridge the gap between music educator and a non-music evaluator

Largely based on Danielson - the task force believed Danielson best fit the needs of music educators and modeled the language while substituting music learning expectations and examples

The purpose of the Workbook is for Professional Development.
The task force is working with a vendor to make it web-enabled.

Guided Group Evaluations 

Karen Steele (principal in Towson) & Rebecca Wilhelm (middle school band teacher)

Criteria for Evaluation Section of Workbook:
1. Supporting Structures - use the NAfME Opportunity-to-Learn Standards (appendix 1 or online) to outline to admin what is or is not available in the building
2. Curricular Goals and Measures - separated into Creating, Performing, and Responding
3. Professional Practice - refers to the Domains, can adapt to any model the district uses
4. Additional Program Expectations and Collective/General Measures

Practical Evaluations - Glenn Nierman
We watched 2 video examples and used the tools as practice (2c & 2d for an "opera" general music lesson for 8th grade; 3c & 3d for "rodeo" general music lesson for 2nd grade)

Practical Student Outcome Assessments - Scott Shuler & Johanna Siebert
We watched two video examples of lessons and discussed pre-observation, evidence collection, and post-observation.

Threats to Quality Content Supervision

  • "Fine Arts" leadership consolidation - instead of "Music"
  • Loss of content-specific supervisor positions
  • Narrowing of preparation programs for non-arts teachers and administrators - no time to take arts-related courses

5 Key Attributes of Effective Teachers
  1. Content expertise
  2. Content-specific pedagogy
  3. Generic pedagogy
  4. Personal qualities
  5. Professional dispositions
School admin can only speak to 3, 4, and 5; the music expert can focus on 1 and 2.
Content-Expert Supervisors can provide more detailed input to teachers and are better prepared to address those 2 key areas. They can provide feedback/evaluation on content-specific teacher standards and content. They can compare classroom content to curriculum, apply generic rubric domains with contextual understanding, and prescribe and identify appropriate PD for teacher growth.

Consequences of Content Leadership Void:
  • Irrelevant district PD
  • Lack of support/guidance for budget, curriculum, assessment, teacher growth, and professional participation (conferences, boards, etc.)
  • Loss of statewide leadership
Strategies for Filling the Void
  • Outside expert consultants (MEA network of expert retirees, university faculty trained in the state system)
  • Shared supervisor (multi-district)
  • Regional network (county)
  • Trained peer coaches
Advice for Music Teachers
  • SMART goals
  • Learn and leverage the system - educate yourself on the rules/procedures, use the system to improve, set clear outcomes, link goals to opportunities for PD
  • Measuring growth - select an issue, focus on a subgroup, focus the SLO/Measure, and focus the PD
  • Video record - both when not being observed and during observations, preferably from both perspectives (back of class and front of class)
Possible Pretest Strategies
  1. Complete entire Final Assessment: benefit = exact comparison, challenge = unfair/upsetting
  2. Complete One Pre-Task from Final Assessment: benefit = exact comparison, challenge = limits scope
  3. Complete easier Final Assessment: benefit = adjusted to current ability, challenge = how to compare scores (factor in difficulty)
... and 2 more that I did not catch; I will update once I receive the PPT files of these presentations.

What Are the Next Steps? - Mike Blakeslee
Continuously collecting comments and improvements
New editions will be released yearly, including digital versions (from Innovate School Music)

Thus the Pre-Conference was brought to a close. I feel... enlightened and empowered. I have gained insight and information to be shared with music colleagues and administrators in my county. I feel that I can advocate for myself and my music education profession in a much more informed manner.

And I feel I can conquer the world! No, wait... I'm getting a little carried away. Perhaps just conquer this new phase of teacher accountability :)

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