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Department of Professional Growth Systems

Building the capacity of our workforce

Observing and Analyzing Teaching

Course Descriptions

Observing Teaching

Observing and Analyzing Teaching 1 (OAT 1), and Observing and Analyzing Teaching 2 (OAT 2) are leadership courses required for all staff who conduct formal observations that contribute to staff evaluations in the Professional Growth System.  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 takes place on the Professional Development Online system (PDO). For questions about registration, please contact our office.

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 OAT 2 classes is limited to those who have successfully completed OAT 1 and who are currently required to write observations that contribute to staff evaluations in the Professional Growth System.

Observing and Analyzing Teaching Recertification Session is a three-hour module that reviews the requirements for a post-observation conference report, and culminates in the writing of a complete report (or the submission of a complete report from the current year for those currently in leadership positions).  People who are new to the AP, ASA, or CT positions (or a new central office subject area supervisor) are required to recertify if it has been three years or more since they took OAT 1.  Registration for this module takes place on PDO.

Observing and Analyzing Teaching Update Session This update is for school and central services administrators who have completed OAT 1 and OAT 2.  The session will include the current standards for a report as well as a process to streamline evaluations.