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Principal's New Book Encourages Teachers to Observe Each Other

Principal Publishes PD Book

A principal from Colorado recently co-authored a book encouraging school principals, district superintendents and other administrators to "improve teaching methods or strengthen what is working in the classrooms."

In Easy Effective Professional Development: The Power of Peer Observation to Improve Teaching, Cathy Beck said "professional development should be an ongoing process that provides feedback and is embedded with the job," said an article in the Summit Daily newspaper in Colorado. 

"This model puts teachers in charge of their own professional development,” she said.

Beck first introduced peer observation at Dillon Valley, a dual education school, the article said, and "told teachers to focus on strategies for teaching a second language. She divided teachers among four teams, and then every two weeks each team [met] and [chose]  a teacher to observe."

"The technique is a cheap, effective way of rolling out big changes," she said in the article, "like this year’s switch to the state’s new mandatory online test aligned with the national Common Core standards.The method was born out of a need to turn around a school fast."

Beck shared that rookie and veteran educators learned from each other when they observed one another.  She was previously a principal at Lake County High School and selected high performing teachers there to help create the method. 

"Beck’s book pulls data from Dillon Valley Elementary, which has seen strong academic growth in recent years, test scores and teacher surveys from Lake County High School and research from other schools that she later found also use the method," the article said.

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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