Why Reinvent the Wheel? ProTeach & CEL5D+
This year I completed my ProTeach Portfolio; “an evidence-based assessment designed for teachers seeking the Washington professional certificate,” according to their website linked here. Although it was a task that took a great deal of time, energy, and effort (and I do believe there is room for the process to be revised a bit), there were definite benefits to this experience, especially once you become very familiar with the CEL 5D+ Teacher Evaluation Rubric. As I began, I was furious that I had to add this to my already overflowing plate of things to do, but once I got smart about, I realized that evidence I was collecting for one (CEL5D+) could easily be used for the other (ProTeach) and vice versa.
Purpose (bonus: student growth component!): The entire third portion of the ProTeach portfolio is focused on curriculum, instruction, and assessment which is a clear crossover to the domain of Purpose on the CEL5D+ rubric. In this section, I outlined the progress of three focus students in relation to a specific set of learning targets. I provided evidence for and described my students background knowledge, outlined instructional, assessment, and intervention strategies used for my students, and reflected on the success of the unit while also identifying next steps. Sound familiar? Student growth component anyone? To manage my time more effectively, this is also the unit I tracked heavily to provide evidence for the student growth component on my evaluation.
Engagement: ProTeach entry two is all about showing evidence that you have built and maintained a positive learning community. There were plenty of crossovers in this section, but a specific one that stands out relates to indicator SE2 Student Ownership of Learning (from the CEL5D+ rubric). This indicator states that teachers must provide opportunities for students to take ownership in their learning and one way I do that is through student choices, specifically in relation to material used in the classroom (when possible). The following image shows results of a quick survey given to students as I planned for the next day’s reading activity. Students were independently applying their knowledge of a skill which left room for choice in topic of text. In this instance, I believe my students excelled, as they were given the opportunity to work with a text that they either had background knowledge of and/or personal interest in.
Curriculum and Pedagogy: CP5 focuses on differentiated instruction for students. A
proficient teacher will use strategies, tools, and resources to differentiate instruction to meet the strengths and needs of individual students. In the third section of the ProTeach, I explained how I differentiated for my students, specifically for my students identified as highly-capable. I uploaded screen clippings of data from the online teacher-created math tool I used called Front Row which shows my students’ access to and success with above-level math concepts. I explained how I use this to supplement my small group math instruction. My students have time working independently on a program like this, in whole-group lessons, and in small-group work with me to reinforce skills and address misconceptions. (Note: I don’t use this tool anymore, as my school has purchased an alternative resource — however, I still recommend it if you’re looking for something to meet your students specific needs at, above, and below grade-level in addition to your own interventions).
Classroom Environment and Culture: There was very little challenge in finding overlaps in this particular domain, as almost a third of the ProTeach portfolio focuses on both your classroom environment and the community in which you teach. Indicator CEC7 discusses the need for norms of learning in the classroom. A proficient teacher will have a classroom where norms are evident; posted, understood, and lived. In this section of my ProTeach I uploaded several pictures of anchor charts, expectation posters, co-created classroom rules, and survey data from asking my students their input on what makes a positive classroom environment. This is all evidence that was taken into account for my evaluation as well.
Professional Collaboration & Communication: In the first entry of the ProTeach portfolio, you identify and outline three specific professional goals after completing a needs assessment. One of the goals that I made related the the criterion in the portfolio related to participating collaboratively with others to in school improvement activities and contributing to collegial decision making. In this section, I was able to describe (and upload evidence for) various committees that I serve on, and the products of those committees. This was also a great place to highlight the work done in my grade-level PLC, where we work tightly as a data-driven grade-level team along with student support staff in our building. The type of evidence you upload for this could vary greatly. Some suggestions are: PLC notes/spreadsheets/data reflection sheets, notes on committee goals and evidence of progress towards those goals, co-created lessons or units, materials from presentations/PD that you led.
Teachers’ schedules are hectic and involved. We spend hours upon hours outside of our contracted time ensuring that our lessons are planned, student work is graded/given feedback, and our schools are running smoothly and safely. With additional responsibilities such as completing the ProTeach, it’s important to remember much of what is being asked of us, is the amazing work we are doing day in and day out in our classrooms. Efficiency is imperative.