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Observing and Analyzing Teaching

Course Descriptions

Observing Teaching

Observing and Analyzing Teaching 1 (OAT1), and Observing and Analyzing Teaching 2 (OAT2) are leadership courses required for all staff who conduct formal observations that contribute to staff evaluations in the Professional Growth System (administrators, assistant school administrators, content specialists, consulting teachers, and secondary resource counselors, resource teachers, and IRTs). Based on the same principles as the Studying Skillful Teaching courses, OAT courses also focus on the development of an instructional leader's capacity to use the Knowledge Base on Teaching to observe and analyze teaching, develop conferencing and writing skills, examine and experiment with multiple data sources, and maintain high standards and expectations for teaching and learning.  Courses are generally offered twice yearly: beginning in the summer, with completion by January; and beginning in January, with completion by June. Registration for these classes usually opens on the Professional Development Online system (PDO) in mid-March for summer/fall sessions and in mid-October for winter/spring sessions. For questions about registration, contact our office at (301) 840-6740.

Observing and Analyzing Teaching 1 (OAT 1) is a six-session (39 hours) course in which participants examine the Knowledge Base on Teaching, are introduced to the MCPS Teacher Evaluation Performance Standards, and develop skills in communicating to teachers in a balanced way about their teaching repertoire. In addition to practicing administrators as noted above, aspiring administrators are eligible to take a course called OAT 1 for Aspiring Administrators. Admission to OAT 1 for Aspiring Administrators is limited to those who have completed or who are about to complete their administrative and supervisory certificate and who intend to apply to the AP Promotion Pool within the ensuing 12 months. 

Observing and Analyzing Teaching 2 (OAT 2) is a six-session (36 hours) course in which participants delve deeper into supervisory skills in challenging situations, linking course content to MCPS standards for teacher evaluation. The course focuses on developing knowledge, skills, and confidence to confront and address mediocre and ineffective teaching. Conference and goal-setting skills are emphasized. Successful completion of OAT 1 is a prerequisite for participation in OAT 2. Admission to OAT2 classes is limited to those who have successfully completed OAT1 and who are currently required to write observations that contribute to staff evaluations in the Professional Growth System.

AP Promotion Pool

As of September 2005, successful completion of OAT 1 is a requirement for admission to the AP Promotion Pool for both new applicants and when applicants reapply after being in the pool for three years.  OAT 1 certification expires after three years from course completion.  OAT 1 re-certification sessions are held on a regular basis for OAT 1 graduates who need to be re-certified.  Check PDO for course #52101 to register for an OAT 1 re-certification session.  For further details about the AP Promotion Pool go to our Leadership Development Program page or call the Leadership Development Program office at 301-217-5117. 

Credit Information

Credit information on specific sections of each course can be found on the Professional Development Online (PDO) system. In addition, instructors will distribute credit information at the first session. If you have questions regarding credit for a course you are interested in, please call 301-840-6740. If you have questions and are currently enrolled in a course, please ask your instructor.

Tuition Reimbursement

Tuition reimbursement through MCPS applies for credit earned through Fitchburg State University, provided that the course was taken outside the duty day. See this link for additional information.

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