In the Danielson Model, component 1b is described to have the following key elements:
- The teacher frequently gathers formal and informal information about students to use for planning effective instruction.
- The teacher frequently connects instruction to student interests, needs, and cultural heritage.
- The teacher builds trust with students and their families by incorporating respect for and the sharing of cultural heritage within class activities.
Within the discussions and the 2014 final report from Governor Walker’s education transition team, the ethnically and geographically diverse team stressed the importance of Alaska educators and the public education system to implicitly and explicitly value and respect the cultural heritage of Alaska students.
“Safe, Welcomed, Respected, Valued” (SWRV) is the aspirational goal shared by every Alaska student as they enter the classroom. An important aspect of SWRV is that it is not a poster, stand-alone lesson, or one-time event. SWRV should be embedded within daily student-teacher interactions and the teacher goal of building rapport with students. Teachers should solicit feedback from students and families that can be used in designing and planning instruction.
Opportunities to share cultural heritage should be available to students in both oral and written form. There should be a place in the classroom where students are welcomed to write feedback on aspects of the class that they enjoy and aspects that they feel are most challenging. Student feedback should be welcomed and valued by teachers.
While staying within the boundaries of the school district’s survey and data collection guidelines, teachers should gather information on student interests, student short and long-term goals, and how their students like to treated by each other students and by the teacher. Teachers should know important positive stories and examples about their students to develop a deeper understanding of their students.