Professional Development | News

NYC Schools Deploy New Teacher Observation Tools

More than 150 New York City schools have deployed Teachscape's Classroom Walkthrough software and online Professional Learning Suite.

Classroom Walkthrough is used as a tool to conduct teacher observations, compare progress to goals and identify trends.

Features of the Web-based software include:

  • A variety of observation key points, called look fors by the company, focused on quality teaching and learning. Standard look fors include high-yield strategies based on Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock's research, Bloom's Taxonomy, student engagement, instructional methods and resources, learning environment, and Tomlinson Differentiation;
  • The ability to customize look-fors to match specific school or district goals;
  • Online and print data collection templates;
  • The ability for administrators to target areas of necessary professional development;
  • Reports to show improvement over time, insights into practice, and more; and
  • Compatibility with mobile devices.

“Teachscape Classroom Walkthrough, in conjunction with the Teachscape Professional Learning Suite, is going to revolutionize how we engage our teachers in professional development in a very reflective and transparent way,” said David Cintron, principal of P.S. 214, The Lorrain Hansberry Academy in New York City, in a prepared statement.

Professional Learning Suite offers support for teachers who are found to need professional development in specific areas with media covering 40 topics. Professional development materials include classroom video, featured experts, interactive tools, and classroom resources. Administrators can also monitor resources used by the instructor.

The New York City Department of Education and the city teachers' union reached a deal in July on a pilot teacher-evaluation process that will begin next year in 33 struggling schools. The new system is more specific, rating teachers annually as ineffective, developing, effective, or highly effective. Teachers historically have been rated as only satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

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About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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