Improving Observer Training: The Trends and Challenges

Observations of teacher performance are a critical component of most teacher evaluation systems, and, done well, can help teachers better understand and improve their practice. Yet, as critical as observations are to ensuring quality instruction, not much is known about how districts are training and supporting their observers. This report examines recent research on observer training and investigates how five districts across the country are preparing observers to conduct accurate, reliable, and useful observations.

This is the third and final report in a series on issues emerging from new teacher evaluation systems in states and school districts. Read the first brief, Evaluating Teachers More Strategically: Using Performance Results to Streamline Evaluation Systems, and the second, Adding Eyes: The Rise, Rewards, and Risks of Multi-Rater Teacher Observation Systems.