Instructional Leadership and Teacher Evaluation - The New Generation

I think my first experience was ILT, only to be upgraded later to ILD, which was the prerequisite to the PDAS certification I needed to 'appraise' teachers in the State of Texas. I understand now that ILD has been replaced by AEL. I know, I'm speaking in my educational acronym language, and my experience is showing, as I served 20 of my 23 years in education as an administrator. Now, as Educational Planner for VLK Architects, I thrive on staying current and true to my educational roots in order for my experience to influence design. However, under my new updated certificate, I am still able to 'evaluate' effectiveness in the classroom. Regardless of the terms, the new Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) is sanctioned under the Texas Education Code, 21.351, and is designed for continuous improvement for teachers.

As curricula change and graduation requirements evolve, I HAVE to know what my education friends are doing, and the issues they face. So, T-TESS training was beckoning me. I enjoyed the camaraderie of my table team at Region 10 ESC, and appreciate the company of Larry LaBue of Allen ISD who endured my comments throughout the week. He was my study buddy as we scripted every word of the presenters, and the videoed lessons, before discussing and debating with one another to determine what influenced us to score lessons as we did.

Truthfully, I guess I had not taken a 'test' since my dissertation defense in 2004, so I will admit, I was a bit nervous to log in, assert my credentials, and get started on the required exam. I locked myself up in the study in the wee hours of the morning in order to focus, as the teacher in the video deserved my undivided attention. Excitedly, I completed all portions of the test and submitted my results. I printed my Certificate of Achievement to share with my architect friends that I am a proud Certified Appraiser for T-TESS. It means much to have meaningful conversations with educators as we embark on new requirements. As a former principal, I value the goal setting and reflective practices that are expected in the new system. Dialogue allows for understanding, and 'Proficient' is solid! Now, I use the internalized rubric and relate the dimensions to classroom design in order to help teachers better facilitate various forms of small group instruction.