OCM BOCES-Responsive Classroom® Blog: Using Video to Deepen Classroom Practice

Recently I was lucky enough to attend professional develop for my own personal growth. Jim Knight spent two days with us around his book Instructional Coaching. Research suggests that PD is more successful when followed by instructional coaching. How often do we as educators follow professional development with instructional coaching to foster and guide higher levels of application of practices learned during a professional development experience? In the Responsive Classroom courses, teachers learn instructional practices that support building positive learning communities that are effectively managed and developmentally responsive to foster engaging academics every day for every child.   At the end of the training educators are encouraged to goal set for classroom application of their learning. Jim Knight discussed the importance of giving teachers choice regarding what and how they learn and have opportunity to reflect on professional learning. A memorable quote from Jim Knight was, “Part of your job is to get better at your job.”

So how do we foster getting better at Responsive Classroom practices part of our job? I was also trained years ago by Michael Grinder and he agrees with Jim Knight that if an educator wants to take their teaching to the “craftsmanship level”, videotaping application of learning and reflecting on practice is a great first step in professional growth. So if an instructional coach isn’t available to you upon completing a Responsive Classroom course, videotaping yourself and being reflective of your application of the practices could be the next best thing to “…getting better at your job.”

The Center for Responsive Schools, the organization that develops The Responsive Classroom trainings and publication has a wonderful newly revised book to take your Responsive Classroom practice to high levels of growth. Videotaping yourself and using The Responsive Classroom® Assessment Tool for Teachers would give you a tool to assist in your reflection on application. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE or Learn More

The RC Assessment Tool was revised in 2016 to help teachers build skills in the 4 domains of classroom application of the Responsive Classroom practices:

  • Engaging Academics
  • Effective Management
  • Positive Community
  • Developmentally Responsive Teaching

“The Responsive Classroom Assessment Tool for Teachers” will support your growth in all these domains. Through self-assessment, this tool helps you think about and deepen your understanding of teaching and learning in general and Responsive Classroom practices in particular. This process of reflection and assessment, when approached with genuine curiosity and openness, will ultimately strengthen your teaching practices and enhance children’s learning.” (RC Assessment Tool, p. 1-2016)

The assessment tool includes wonderful reflective rubrics to help educators self-reflect on key Responsive Classroom practices:

  • Interactive Modeling
  • Morning Meeting
  • Guided Discovery
  • Engaging Academics (Including Academic Choice)
  • Classroom Organization
  • Teacher Language
  • Classroom Rules
  • Classroom Management (Including using signals, routines, structuring the day, energizers, closing circle)
  • Responding to Misbehavior
  • Problem-Solving Strategies (Including role-play and problem-solving conferences)

Some of these practices are learned in the level 1 Responsive Classroom course and other are learned in the Responsive Classroom Advanced courses, so a teacher can adapt their use for their personal growth and application of the Responsive Classroom practices.

The tool was primarily designed for teachers seeking to achieve Responsive Classroom Teacher certification, but can also help any educator who wants to improve their application of Responsive Classroom practices learned during the course(s) they attended.

The Assessment Tool encourages teachers to first do a pre-assessment reflection of a practice they are working on and review the assessment items to truly understand the scope of the application of the practice. Once those two steps are done, the teacher is then encouraged to use the practice in their classroom. “To make assessment easier, you might want to make a video or audio recording of yourself using each practice.” (The Assessment Tool, p. 3-2016) Once an educator has filmed a Responsive Classroom practice, they can use the assessment tool to reflect and assess their application of a particular Responsive Classroom practice and use the “Post-Assessment Reflection” to foster thinking, reflecting and future goal-setting for growth. The tool also offers educators additional strategies and resources at the end of each assessment tool that can also further deeper understanding of a Responsive Classroom practice.

Videotaping yourself and using the Responsive Classroom Assessment Tool with assist educators in their personal journey of growth in the Responsive Classroom. As Jim Knight said, “To choose not to improve is to choose not to be professional.”

Shaw_PatrickPatrick Shaw
OCM BOCES – Staff Development Specialist
Certified Responsive Classroom® Trainer by the Center for Responsive Schools (Developers of the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning)

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