Maryland State Department of Education
Division for Leadership Development
Leadership Learning Series:
Focused Post-Observation Conferences
to Increase Teacher Effectiveness
1. Establish/review the cause and effect relationship between teacher behaviors and student learning behaviors as the foundation of the conference.
2. Identify aspects of structure, content, and implementation that are components of lesson analysis.
3. Evaluate the effectiveness of a lesson based on student learning behaviors as related to structure, content, and implementation.
4. Generate language for the conference appropriate to the teacher and the conference goal(s).
The content in Focused Post-Observation Conferences is based on the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework, Outcome #4: Improve Instructional Practices Through the Purposeful Observation and Evaluation of Teachers. Other related leadership workshops emphasize the purposeful observation of instruction and structuring informal classroom observations. This workshop focuses on analyzing a lesson and determining how to make a discussion with the teacher about the lesson a learning experience that will increase the teacher’s effectiveness and, therefore, increase student achievement.
The post-observation conference is a major teaching-learning opportunity for the principal to provide to the teachers, and the effectiveness of these conferences is critical to increasing student achievement. In the post-observation conference, the principal provides individual, job-embedded professional development for the teacher. In fact, the post-observation conference is one of the rare opportunities that the principal and teacher have for a sustained, substantive, one-on-one conversation about teaching and learning.
The teacher’s lesson content and the pedagogy employed by the teacher create a learning synergy that is best described as a cause and effect relationship – the behaviors of each comprise the learning dynamic. This dynamic is discussed and analyzed in the workshop as participants evaluate the effectiveness of a lesson in terms of the lesson structure, content, and implementation. Then, participants determine how to approach the teacher in the conference. Genuine problem solving is central to the session, and participants leave the session with resource materials, strategies, and new learning – all of which can be implemented immediately to increase the effectiveness of their teachers.