Source: Avi Chai Foundation
A group of over 40 educators, from ten diverse Jewish Day Schools, spent three days immersed in Research for Better Teaching’s seminar on High Impact Teacher Teams. Research for Better Teaching (RBT) is a professional development organization dedicated to improving classroom teaching and school leadership. Together with educators from Prizmah: The Center for Jewish Day Schools, these teacher teams prepared to bring back solid practices to their schools that will necessitate strong modeling of teamwork among educators while using data to inform student learning.
Chanie Geisinsky, Principal of Silverstein Hebrew Academy in Great Neck, Long Island, reflected, “Unfortunately I was only able to participate the first day, but it was definitely fulfilling and productive. I debriefed today with our head of school and we are looking forward to deploying it gradually in our elementary and middle school classes. I think it will make not only a huge difference and bring change but has the potential to be the ultimate game changer in raising the bar of our teaching and learning.”
The RBT model includes:
Using the FAR (Formative Assessment for Results) Cycle
Clarify the learning journey
Infuse formative assessments
Analyze formative assessments
- Take FIRME action (feedback, investigation, reteach, move on, extension)
In using the RBT method teams of teachers will:
Determine what step in the FAR cycle they will focus on
Determine the purpose of each team meeting: then learn, take action and reflect
- Determine activities to use to achieve the goals
The teams will build their expertise in:
Clarifying learning goals for students so steps to success are clear
Using formative assessment tools throughout instruction
Analyzing success based on pre-established criteria and identifying errors in student thinking
- Taking FIRME action
To sum it up, the teams will use data often to make sure each child succeeds. As the RBT trainer stated, school improvement is a team sport. Nothing is more satisfying to an educator than when they know they have the tools to raise a student’s achievement. This is truly collective teacher efficacy.
Due to the generosity of AVI CHAI, each school team will receive 20 hours of coaching from a Prizmah teaching and learning team member to assist them in implementing the program and honing the practices of RBT. This will also allow for deeper relationships between Prizmah and the schools as we work together to further the strength of our programs and build the pipeline of educational leaders.