Do you know what the European Profiling Grid for Teachers is?

During one of the teacher trainer courses held by the Università per Stranieri di Siena, among many other topics we discussed the European Profiling Grid for Teachers’evaluation.

We came back to our job and we are still focusing on the “eGRID”: training and qualifications, key teaching competences, enabling competences and professionalism are the four teachers’ evaluation categories in the grid.

Today we’d like to focus on one aspects represented in the grid: the assessed teaching. As teachers we constantly reflect upon the importance of dialogue in skills development. Exchange of views moments are helpful for those teachers who wish to enhance their competences and skills.

Dialogue is fundamental as well as a humble approach: that’s true for trainees as well as for teachers with former education and experience.

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The evaluation grid distinguishes three development phases, each of them including two levels.

The lowest see “teachers gaining experience by teaching parts of lessons and sharing experience with a colleague who is providing feedback”.

The feedback and dialogue importance is the starting point. Asking for advice  and sharing opinion with someone experienced enables less experienced teachers to consider what they’re learning as potential teachers and on the teaching profession itself.

In the second level teachers-to be are supervised, observed and positively assessed while teaching individual lessons. So we pass through a first stage to a second one in which trainees have individual lessons or with fellow trainees. This is a moment of growth as teacher because feedback will influence class management and practical skills.

Going on through the other phases there is an increase in the number of observed classes’ hours, and teachers are supposed to practice with two or more levels of students. The assessed hours’ number is essential because it gives the chance to trace a performance diagram underlining qualities and negative features. The diagram allows understanding whether any improvement has occurred or not.

The highest development phase is represented by teachers with more than 14 assessed teaching hours that are mentors or observers of less experienced teachers. The figure of mentor underlines, once again, the need of someone who can help new teachers.

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So we have been using a camera for experiencing assessed teaching in our school.

Our teachers have been constantly filmed during their classes and then they observe themselves and are observed by the other teachers of the scientific committee.

The starting point is that assessed teaching could enhance teacher’s practical methodology, knowledge and skills. Undergoing this task is not easy because being observed is hard and observing your own lesson for the first time can be frustrating.

You also need to get used to the camera in the classroom, but teachers are aware of the procedure’s benefits. After observations teachers have a meeting and discuss every aspect of the lesson with the teacher himself.

This research has had positive effects on our job and allows us to chart our teaching development, which is good for us and for students.

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