Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities

This week, our course, Teaching Music in a Common Core World, is completing our unit on teacher evaluation. The past few weeks, we have been focusing on the four different domains of the Danielson Framework:

Each of these links is to a post describing my work for this course within one of those domains. For this week, we focused on the final domain. We were asked to complete the Relevant Information portion of the NAfME Workbook for all the components in Domain 4:

  • 4a: Reflecting on Teaching

  • 4b: Maintaining Accurate Records

  • 4c: Communicating with Families

  • 4d: Participating in a Professional Community

  • 4e: Growing and Developing Professionally

  • 4f: Showing Professionalism

We were also asked to select one of the components for more in-depth study. The result of our in-depth study was to develop a narrative proving we know how to accomplish the proficient or distinguished criteria for our selected component:

After you select the Component for in-depth study, make bullet points for each criteria found in the Distinguished and Proficient columns.

  1. Explain in a narrative how you plan to accomplish each criteria now listed as a bullet point (point by point). Combine the Relevant Information from page 1 with the Elements found on page 3. Use language from the Possible Music Examples found on page 4, if appropriate.

  2. Pretend that I know nothing about music and you need to convince me that you deserve more than just a Basic evaluation rating. I really do not get the feeling that everyone understands that you are fighting for your professional life--the job you save may be your own.

  3. The grading rubric will be the one found on the worksheet. If your narrative correlates with language found in a certain level of the rubric, then that will be the corresponding grade for the assignment. Distinguished = A; Proficient = B; Basic = C; Unsatisfactory = D; Incomplete or no assignment = F

It is not enough to tell me that you will do something, you must prove to me in writing that you have a plan and you know how to accomplish it.

I chose to focus on Component 4e: Growing and Developing Professionally. The bolded statements below are the bullet points from the Distinguished portion of the rubric followed by my narrative describing how I accomplish these bullet points.

Teacher collaborates with other peers to conduct action research asking them to observe his/her instruction. I teach in a team of five teachers across grades 6-12. Each of us has responsibilities for marching, concert, and jazz band rehearsals as well as a studio of lessons. Our rehearsal schedule is set to allow that team of five to move amongst the three buildings and seven grade levels to assist in rehearsal or to access students for lessons or during a band/choir rehearsal, study hall, or free period. Below is a diagram of that schedule. Study halls and free periods can happen at any time during the day.

It is both incredibly intimidating and incredibly rewarding to have a team of teachers in your classroom every day. We collaborate to do part assignments across all ensembles, introduce and assess concepts, and provide feedback to students and one another. All of this happens on a daily basis.

Teacher initiates contributions to the profession. Beginning last year, I started a blog to offer some information and reflection on our vertical teaching model, our transition to standards-based grading, and our experimentation with formative assessments. My posts have since expanded to include reflections on conferences and clinics, classes at VanderCook, as well as professional development happening in my district and school.

At the Iowa Bandmasters Association 2014 Conference in May, I was approached by several different directors from around the state curious about our implementation of standards-based grading and vertical teaching because of their perusal of my blog. Another teacher approached up because his instructional coach happened upon my blog and wanted us to get in touch.

We have also been contacted by Drake University and Iowa State University to come talk to their student NAfME chapters about our vertical teaching model, standards-based grading, and formative assessment. Three years ago, our vertical PLC presented at the IBA Conference about the vertical model.

Teacher actively looks for professional development opportunities to enhance music knowledge and skills along with pedagogical knowledge and skills. Since becoming a music education major in 2005, I have made it a priority to attend professional conferences. In Iowa, our All-State Music Festival in November also provides clinic sessions during the rehearsals to members of NAfME. In May, the Iowa Bandmasters Association hosts a conference in Des Moines. Two years ago, I was selected as a Young Conductor for my IBA district. I conducted an IBA Honor Band while receiving feedback on my conducting from Col. Lowell Graham, Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Texas - El Paso. I have also attended the Midwest Clinic every year since 2005.

The summer of 2013, I studied conducting with Dr. Ron Johnson, Director of Bands at the University of Northern Iowa. He and a few other collegiate directors in Iowa (Dr. Mike Golemo - Iowa State University, Dr. Mark Heidel - University of Iowa, and Bob Meunier - Drake University) started a Conductor’s Forum that meets annually in January, rotating through each of the four major universities. I was also selected to conduct the UNI Wind Symphony while being critiqued by all four collegiate directors.

This past June, I had the opportunity to attend Solution Tree’s Professional Learning Communities At Work Institute in Minneapolis with two other members of my PLC, more than 100 other faculty from my district, and several thousand attendees from around the US. It was an outstanding opportunity to learn more about how to do PLCs well.

Beginning in the summer of 2014, I began working on my Masters of Music Education at the VanderCook College of Music. That summer, I took Finale Music Notation Software online with Vince Leonard and Developing the Successful Jazz Ensemble at VanderCook with Mike Steinel, Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas. This fall, I am part of the Teaching Music in a Common Core World course. I will be taking another MECA course during the school year and the two resident summer semesters in the following summers.

Teacher is receptive to feedback from supervisors and colleagues. As part of our Vertical PLC, I have three other directors in and out of my rehearsal every day. At times, they are taking students out for individual lessons. Other times, they are present to help provide feedback for students in the ensemble on their concert literature.

This year, we are working as a PLC to provide peer review on specific individual teacher goals as we are in observing rehearsals. My goal is to provide adequate feedback to students, moving from just saying “good” or “ok” at the end of a section of playing.

Our PLC has also made another goal of calibrating our grading of student assessments. We have recorded several samples of students across instruments and grade levels. We are now beginning the process of blindly evaluating them as a PLC and discussing our differences in grading.

As part of our teacher evaluation system, I get observed at least twice each semester. I have identified an academic and behavior goal for my students that align with 2-5 Danielson rubrics.

Teacher also offers to assist other teachers in professional development.` Our school district uses Infinite Campus as its student information management system. Over the past summer, the user interface went through a massive overhaul. I offered to be part of a district-wide team that developed training for teachers in each building. Throughout the summer, I met with other teachers and administrators to learn how to use the new interface. We developed several powerpoints, screencasts, and Google Docs describing how to perform many familiar tasks in the new version. At the beginning of the school year, I was responsible for leading the 70 teachers in my building through the training our team had developed over the summer.

My previous school was a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports) school. Because we are a brand new school, we are working to implement PBIS into the culture of our students. I serve on the overall Jaguar Culture committee, as well as the Teacher Learning subcommittee, responsible for training our staff on implementing PBIS practices in their classrooms.


Burton Hable

Burton Hable is an instrumental music educator from Central Iowa. In 2013 he helped open Centennial High School in Ankeny, the first time in forty years that a school district in Iowa expanded to two high schools. He served there through 2018 as Assistant Director of Bands: conducting the 10th Grade Symphonic Band, directing the varsity Jazz Collective, co-directing the Centennial Marching and Pep Bands, teaching music theory, and providing individual and small group lessons to brass students in grades 6-12 at Prairie Ridge Middle School, Northview Middle School, and Centennial High School. During his tenure in Ankeny, enrollment in band grew from 450 to nearly 700, the jazz program expanded from four to seven ensembles, and ensembles under his direction were invited to perform at Iowa State University, Harper College, and the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.