Everything else I am about to say is based on that idea, a DISD core belief. We need strong teachers in the classroom, that is essential. We can not expect teachers to be great though. Very people walk into their job and are instantly great. Instead they support, train and learn what they need to know to be great. Granted you start with certain skills and build on those that allow you to be great. How do you become great?
COACHING! As teacher we receive coaching through PDs, an instructional coach, and spot observations. If we are going to be honest, on many campuses those three things are falling short of their objective, but lets focus on spot observations. A spot observation should be a check of how you are doing as a teacher and provide feedback and targeted areas to improve on. When I get a spot I want it to be an honest check of my instruction and I want actual feedback based on what I did in my classroom that day. I do not want a generic, more MRS strategies, anyone can say that. If you want to actually help me grow, look at what I am doing and coach me. Isn't that the purpose of these spots. Lets go back to that core belief, effective instruction makes the most difference. If you want scores to go up, focus on the instruction, if you want to actually make a difference, actually make instruction effective.
You know what does not make effective instruction, giving a filler spot, walking in for five minutes and walking out, observing on a test day, observing a teacher when they have to teach in the auditorium/cafeteria or other classroom due to school testing, observing a teacher so that they get a one the first time, then two's, then three's or any type of observation that is not accurate. You know when a teacher is adjusting to school situations, you know when it is the last period for before break, you know when a lesson is not accurate of a teachers real classroom, maybe do not observe them then. I am not saying a teacher should slack off that day, by all means walk in a just see what they are doing.
I get it though, the administrator is behind on their spots, they have to meet a quota, they didn't space them out, they didn't do any in the beginning of the year or went a few months with out doing them and now its the last week so you need to make them all up. I get it, you need to do the spot, but realize at that point the spot is useless. It doesn't actually help anyone, there is not growth happening after, its just another piece of paper in the teachers file.
If you want to actually make a difference on improving instruction you have to realize the importance of evaluations and the role of coaching. Teachers are not born great, and they certainly do not become great if we do not support them. An administrators role in achieving core belief #2 is just as important at the teachers role.