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Racky Salzman httpss://

An instructional leader’s ability to provide teachers with effective feedback is a critical component in supporting teacher’s professional growth.  The most effective way for evaluators to do this is through purposeful evidence collection during an observation. However, observing without attention to details can often lead to a blurred perception of what is happening and the effectiveness of teaching practices. This lesson will explore the concept of “evidence-based observation.”

Warm Up

Review the Case of Margret Howell on 4-5 of the Evidence-Based Observation Workbook and decide if Margret was telling the truth, determining 3 pieces of evidence to support your claim. Why is it important to use evidence in this way/What purpose does it serve?

Setting the Context

In the past, administrators and leaders:

  • dropped in on classrooms and chatted and checked in with students
  • “inspected” classrooms utilizing a checklist 
  • remained in the back as a court reporter 

All of these actions have a place and time such as:

  • building community and relationships or checking on students in need
  • ensuring compliance for particular policies or steps such as a posting an objective or using a particular resource
  • observing processes like behavior management or use of time/or individual student behaviors

However, if the goal is to provide impactful support and high quality feedback on instructional strategies and the effect on learners,  a shift in mindset and practice when visiting a classroom is required.  

To meet this goal, you will utilize your district’s instructional framework to make a claim about the practice you are observing, but will then need to provide evidence to support that claim.

MOVE TO HQF? Read pages 4-2 through 4-3. Review the chart on Page 4-4.

Go through each of the 9 functions and determine how you and your district spend time or view observation and evaluation.  Are they different or the same? How is evidence connected to any of the 9 functions?


Read Pages 4-2 and 4-3


Evidence-Based Observation results in high quality, transparent, and objective feedback. Read the following feedback samples. Notice how it meets this criteria and how the evidence is cited to support growth.

Learning Task

Locate a written feedback report you have received in the past or choose one you have written recently. 







Back to: Becoming an Effective Observer – Part I