When I share the story of how I met The Framework for Teaching, I hope you arrive at the same epiphany. The Framework for Teaching is not a list of twenty-two components.
In 2005, I left the special education classroom after 22 years for a newly created position called an Instructional Facilitator. In this role, I would serve full-time as a teacher leader to create a mentoring and coaching program for our school district. Although I spent countless hours in the general education classroom as a co-teacher, as an Instructional Facilitator, I would be supporting teachers in subjects I was never enrolled in as a high school student, like Physics and Advanced Placement English classes.
As I prepared for this job, I knew I had to discover how to talk to my peers so that the subject they were teaching wouldn’t be a barrier to our coaching cycles. I used the search engine “Ask Jeeves” to find resources on how to talk about teaching and Jeeves produced, “Enhancing Professional Practice” by Charlotte Danielson.
I immersed myself in the book and read how and why Charlotte structured The Framework for Teaching. I learned about the assumptions and features of The Framework for Teaching on how and why it was created, such as the nature of learning and how to promote it, important learning for all students, the purposeful nature of teaching and the nature of professionalism. All are concepts that make sense to good teaching. The seven common themes are my favorite aspect of The Framework for Teaching. As a special education teacher, I fully agreed with attention to individual students, developmental appropriateness, high expectations, equity, cultural competence, and student assumption of responsibility and use of technology.
After five years of using The Framework for Teaching as a guide to my work with mentoring and coaching, I attended a workshop by a Danielson Group consultant. At this workshop, I was introduced to the “Smart Card” that lists the twenty-two components. I learned more about the rationale and explanation behind The Framework for Teaching and the twenty-two components were the keys to the various combinations of methods to good teaching. It is core instruction. The workshop advanced my knowledge of the anatomy of The Framework for Teaching.
I am student of The Framework for Teaching. I describe The Framework for Teaching as timeless and eternal. Through the decades, The Framework for Teaching helps me decrease the noise and distractions of the educational barrage of policies and programs because as each initiative presents itself, I analyze it with The Framework for Teaching. Where are the assumptions and features in this new initiative? How are the seven common themes represented in this new initiative? What components are nested within this new initiative? By thinking through The Framework for Teaching, it strengthens my perseverance to forge the latest demands.
In nearly thirty-five years as a public school teacher, the proverbial swings of the pendulum have rarely fatigued me. I use the anatomy of The Framework for Teaching as the foundation to exploring and navigating the new territory. The Framework for Teaching produces synergy for our ever-dynamic field of teaching. It gives me thirty-five more years! The Framework for Teaching is my professional fountain of youth.