We are excited to support the Instructional Partnership Initiative (IPI) in many schools across the state this year. IPI is a professional learning tool designed to help teachers use the information and feedback received in the evaluation process in ways that can sustain and improve instruction. Teachers are matched in partnerships based on complementary strengths and areas for growth on specific instructional practice areas. This matching is done based on indicator-level observation scores (not overall observation scores) from previous evaluations. These partnerships should allow you to collaborate on specific practices. Want to know more? Read on about IPI on other pages:
Teacher Guidebook and Optional Resources
Teachers who have chosen to participate in IPI may have have received the teacher guidebook from their principals, but it is also available here: IPI Teacher Guidebook 2016-17. Word versions of the templates in the guidebook are available for download below:
- IPI Template_Norm Setting
- IPI Template_Observation Template
- IPI Template_Partnership Activity Documentation Sheet
- IPI Template_Partnership Activity Sheet
- IPI Template_SMART Goal Questionnaire
Additionally, we have compiled some optional resources that may be helpful as you develop your IPI partnership.
With documentation (e.g., the meeting log located in the IPI teacher guidebook), teachers can earn professional development points (PDPs) for time spent collaborating as part of IPI. PDPs can be added to an educator’s record via TNCompass.
One of the strengths of these partnerships is flexibility. You can choose when to meet, as well as what activities you do while together. Some suggested activities include:
- Setting goals for the year
- Observing each other’s classrooms or observing another classroom together to watch practices in action and refine strategies
- Meeting after observations to debrief
- Developing individualized strategies for improvement focused on feedback
- Planning lessons together
- Following up on each other’s commitments and goals
Based on feedback from teachers who participated in IPI partnerships in previous years, here are some “partnership plans” which may help you and your partner develop a blueprint for your work.
Plan 1: Weekly meetings
Partners reflecting on their practices could set a weekly meeting time and commit to it all year. This meeting could be during lunch, before or after school, or during a common planning time. Teachers can then discuss whatever is most pressing that week. Conversations could center on lesson plan feedback, observation planning, or recent evaluation scores.
Plan 2: Observation meetings
Partners who cannot commit to weekly meetings could make a plan to meet with each other before and after every planned observation to review and discuss their scores. Along with these conversations, partners could observe each other’s classrooms near the beginning and end of each semester, meeting afterwards to reflect on growth.
Plan 3: Monthly peer observations
Teachers who do not have the same common planning time might prioritize visiting each others’ classrooms on a monthly basis. Post-observation discussions can be framed using templates from the guidebook. Teachers who share the same planning period may find it helpful to observe a third teacher’s class together.
What Teachers Are Saying About IPI
I chose to participate in the program to gain experience… and to dig deeper into the evaluation process to help me prepare for future coach or administrative position.
I thought I would get great feedback and great ideas to help my classroom.
I wanted to be able to give my peers professional feedback on their teaching practices and classroom environment.
I thought it would be a good way to learn from another educator.
I decided to participate since this is my first year in my new school (and my first year coming from middle school to elementary) and I knew that I would gain better insight into teaching at this grade level.