Recommended Usage

Rubric as an Assessment Tool

This inservice rubric is designed to formatively assess DLI teachers’ classroom practices. It should be used in tandem with (not as a replacement for) a school-district-required general rubric for assessing teacher performance. Before using the rubric as an assessment tool, there should be formal opportunities (e.g., professional development workshops) for teachers to become familiar with and to practice the kinds of strategies and practices described in the rubric levels. Evaluators or supervisors need to become very familiar with these practices to be able to identify them and provide appropriate feedback.

As a detailed and comprehensive assessment tool, this rubric is designed to be completed over time, with input and evidence from multiple teaching observations.

It is best used as a diagnostic, reflective, and coaching tool to

  • build awareness of areas that need development,
  • acknowledge areas in a which a teacher excels, and
  • promote deeper understanding of contextual and possibly systemic elements that inhibit the enactment of effective DLI teaching and learning.

Examples of evidence that support an evaluator’s or supervisor’s rating should be included in writing. (There is a section for including evidence after each sub-strand.) The rubric level descriptors can and should inform pre- and post-observation conversations between the teacher and evaluator or supervisor. There should be specific feedback on how a teacher’s performance might improve from the Demonstrating level to the Excelling level, for example.

An evaluator or supervisor should not expect to see evidence for each sub-strand during one observation (or perhaps even for all descriptors within one sub-strand). It is appropriate for an evaluator and teacher to choose one or several sub-strands on which to focus for a period of time.

At the end of the rubric are spaces for “summary of areas for future focus” and “other feedback.” Evaluators or supervisors should use these sections to provide detailed, specific feedback and guidance for teachers about how to improve their practice.

Rubric as a Professional Development Tool

The rubric is intended to be developmental and educative; ideally, teachers will learn from interacting with the rubric.

The rubric may serve as a powerful professional development tool for DLI teachers. For example,

  • School leaders and teaching staff or individual teacher PLCs (professional learning communities) may choose a sub-strand of the rubric to focus on for a month, trimester, or year, with each teacher being responsible for making changes to classroom practice to strive toward excellence.
  • Teachers could read resources that correspond to the sub-strand(s) to increase their awareness and understanding of the specific practices.
  • They could discuss their progress and offer ideas at meetings as well as observe each other and provide feedback.
  • The school principal, curriculum specialist, or program coordinator could observe teachers and engage in dialogue about the teacher’s progress related to the sub-strand practices.
  • Professional development offerings could target specific strands or sub-strands that have been selected as the focus.

“The idea is to provide a supportive environment for teachers to openly talk about their practices, the challenges they experience as they attempt to adopt new practices, and the successes they experience as they hone their knowledge and skills. The ultimate goal, of course, is to improve student learning by improving classroom teaching” (Tedick & Lyster, 2020, p. 277).