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Librarians and Danielson and PA

Late last spring, our district distributed the Danielson Framework for Teaching rubric listing the components of instruction–divided into 22 components and 76 smaller elements, and clustered into four domains.

Danielson’s Framework, is designed to serve as the the foundation of a school or district’s mentoring, coaching, professional development, and teacher evaluation processes, thus linking all those activities together and helping teachers become more thoughtful practitioners.

The document is both inspiring and intimidating.

And the specific connections between all of those elements and a librarian’s teaching practice may not be obvious, especially to an administrator.  We may need to collect alternate and additional evidence or our effective practice.

Jennifer Bates, librarian from Central Columbia High School and Chair of our PSLA Professional Standards Committee, recently shared a Framework for Teacher Effectiveness with Examples for School Librarians, as well as a Tip Sheet covering the the four domains of our state-adopted Danielson Framework.

In her email to our state listserv, Jennifer writes that the Framework for Teacher Effectiveness Tip Sheet

may assist you as you familiarize yourself with the new Danielson Framework under which you will be evaluated.  Using both the framework for teachers and the examples specific to librarians, the tip sheet endeavors to give you a guiding reflection question that you can ask yourself in advance to determine whether or not you are demonstrating specific qualities or actions that reflect a domain objective. 

Additionally, it provides you with a few examples of evidence you may be able to present to your administrator during your post observation meeting that highlights those domain requirements.  Our hope is that this document will simplify the entire rubric for you and make the four domains more clear as they relate to your role. 

I asked Jennifer for a little background on the project.  She shared:

Defining how the Danielson Framework could effectively evaluate what we do as school librarians has been a challenge.  In the last year, Nancy Latanision (Board member and past President) and I have met in Harrisburg, along with representatives of other instructional certifications who have unique roles and functions, in an attempt to create examples that were more relevant to what we do as librarians every day. 

PSLA’s Professional Standards Committee then took these examples and compressed them into an easy to read “Tip Sheet” that allows librarians state wide to self-evaluate and determine if they are meeting the requirements of this new framework.  We tried to make this a more manageable document that would clarify questions about what may be expected of us as well as offer examples of documents and evidence that can be shared with administrators.

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And, from Diane Ravitch’s Blog, a New Jersey administrator who heard Charlotte Danielson speak about her rubric at the May 29th NJAFPA Conference, reported that Danielson serious concerns about using standardized test scores to assess teachers, and advised, rather than standardized tests, we need to look at classroom/teacher’s learning evidence.

Seeking a little relief from assessment stress?

Check out this apparently anonymous middle school teacher’s song parody of Glen Campbell’s Galveston.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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