Insight results provide you with information about how your teachers are experiencing instructional leadership practices at your school. Use this reflection guide to reflect on your data and develop a strategy to improve the instructional culture at your school.
Step 1: GET ORIENTED TO YOUR DATA
Explore your report for a snapshot of how teachers are experiencing your school’s instructional culture.
Step 2: PRIORITIZE A FOCUS AREA
Review the survey data in more detail to determine what domain(s) and questions to prioritize for improvement.
Step 3: COMMIT TO NEXT STEPS
Make adjustments to your leadership practices and support structures for teachers.
Step 4: SHARE RESULTS WITH OTHERS
Determine how you will share and engage others with the data.
If your district/network also participates in other stakeholder surveys, be sure to explore these additional Reflection Guides: Central Teams Reflection Guide, Family Survey Reflection Form, and Student Survey Reflection Guide.
Skim the comments. Don’t get stuck on individual items. The goal is simply to see each one, so nothing is surprising when you return for an in-depth review.
Quickly move past non-productive or inflammatory comments. These may include personal attacks (e.g. “Ms. Smith should be removed from her role”) or broad statements of displeasure (“There’s nothing good about this school”). It’s helpful to dismiss these comments to avoid focusing on them again in the future.
Summarize the comments in a few bullet points. Weight responses based on frequency, capturing trends and themes more than specific details.
Interpret the open-ended results alongside the quantitative data. Revisit the Insight numerical scores through the lens of the comment summaries.
While the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to have significant implications for schools and changes the way students, families, teachers, and leaders experience school, the Insight survey is still a crucial tool in gathering feedback and using that data to drive improvements. In fact, it may be even more important to listen to teachers and use their feedback this year as they navigate new school models and disruptions to their typical routines. Even as schools operate in different ways this school year, Insight survey content and the core components of a strong instructional model, continue to be meaningful – for instance, leaders should continue to promote a shared vision of excellent instruction, help teachers understand how that looks in their classrooms, and provide supports and resources to realize that vision. However, we have also updated our survey language and content to ensure relevancy and remind respondents that normal structures and routines likely look different this year. In terms of responding to the reports and comparing to historical Insight results, we suggest identifying any domains which teachers are likely experiencing very differently this year (for instance, professional development) and examining those domains scores & items extra carefully to understand exactly how teachers’ experiences have changed, identify the key strengths to leverage and key areas to improve are as those may be quite different than in prior years.
For more resources on responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic, see TNTP's toolkit https://tntp.org/covid-19-school-response-toolkit.
Insight reports contain feedback from teachers, who experience the impact of your leadership practices most directly. It’s common to have an emotional reaction to the data, particularly if it is critical or surprising. Be sure to give yourself time to acknowledge and address your reactions.
Common emotional responses leaders have experienced as they engage in their results include:
Denial: “My teachers didn’t understand the questions.” or “My teachers are wrong – this isn’t how we do things here.”
Anger: “Why would my teachers throw me under the bus like this?” or “My teachers don’t like me.”
Bargaining: “We’ll do better once the unhappy teachers are gone.”
Depression: “There’s nothing I can do to make my teachers happy.” or “All the work we’ve done this year was a waste.”
Look out for these reactions, which may distract you from learning from your Insight results. If you experience any of the above reactions, acknowledge how you feel, then refocus on your analysis of the results, and move to acceptance: “This feedback comes from my teachers, and I can use this to reflect on my practice.” or “I’m going to use this to start a conversation with my teachers and leadership team to help us understand our areas for improvement.”
Use your support network while processing the results. Your leadership team, your manager, and other school leaders in your network or district are all good resources as you review and process your Insight results. They may be able to provide a helpful perspective as you work to improve your school culture.
Insight should not be thought of as a separate initiative, but rather a tool to support the work you are already doing. Consider your current school priorities and initiatives when reviewing your results, and identify specific domains and questions that will help you build context about teacher perceptions in these areas. The two examples below show how you can align Insight items to existing school priorities:
Existing School Priority: Providing quality curriculum and instructional guidance to support instruction
Domains: Academic Expectations, Instructional Planning for Student Growth
Potential Questions to Monitor:
- My school implements a rigorous academic curriculum.
- Leaders at my school have the necessary content knowledge or resources to support instructional practice across disciplines.
- I am satisfied with the support I receive at my school for instructional planning.
Existing School Priority: High-quality feedback and evaluation for all staff
Domains: Observation and Feedback, Evaluation
Potential Questions to Monitor:
- The feedback I get from being observed helps me improve student outcomes.
- Each time I am observed, I get feedback that gives me specific actions to improve my teaching practice.
- The teacher evaluation process helps identify my strengths and weaknesses.
Monitoring the Domains and questions connected to your priorities and initiatives can help you monitor progress and identify concrete leadership actions to start, improve or discontinue.
TNTP offers open-source libraries of proven resources for building school environments where teachers and students thrive:
- See the Resources by Domain page for a wealth of resources and tools categorized by Insight domain.
- Visit the Teacher Talent Toolbox to explore ideas for improving your school’s talent practices.
- Browse resources designed to help leaders, teachers, and families improve students’ daily experiences in school in our Student Experience Toolkit.
- Find resources specifically designed for remote and hybrid school environments on the COVID-19 Toolkit.
The “Trends over Time” tab on the Insight report allows leaders to quickly assess whether domains and survey items are improving or declining over time. To determine whether the change in results is meaningful, consider (1) whether your experiences and qualitative data/anecdotes confirms that change, (2) whether other data sources such as teacher retention, student performance, and non-academic student measures are also confirming improvement, and (3) the amount of effort put into the initiative that is being assessed.
Some considerations when reviewing results over time:
- Declines are not always bad. Putting a new system or initiative in place, like a shift to restorative justice discipline practices or a new evaluation system, often comes with a period of disruption for teachers. This can cause a temporary decline in teacher satisfaction, but will likely eventually lead to stronger instruction and improved student outcomes.
- Small gains from year to year may indicate success and be a sign of sustained improvement over time. Developing a strong instructional culture requires a clear vision, commitment to school priorities, and a constant dialogue between teachers and school leaders. Sustainable improvements rarely happen overnight or even within one year; incremental gains in domain or item scores from year to year – especially in areas corresponding to school priorities – may be signs of meaningful progress.
- Sustained strong scores may indicate meaningful progress and a continued commitment to instructional culture improvement. Schools continuing to show high domain and item scores year after year along with strong student outcomes may be sign of a healthy school culture.
Additional goal-setting guidance:
- Use the benchmarks. The benchmarks in your report show what is possible relative to other schools in your network and nationally. Based on where your domain or item scores fall, use the gap to the average and/or top quartile benchmarks to anchor your goals.
- Compare results from the same time period each year. TNTP has found that across schools and domains, teachers and staff tend to respond less favorably in the spring. We suggest that, particularly when you are monitoring change over time, you compare fall to fall and spring to spring results. On the Trends over Time tab in the dashboard, you will see that the data shows you year-over-year results in this way to avoid changes that may be due to seasonality.
- Understanding what improvement looks like. Keep in mind that it is generally easier to realize an increase in a domain or item score when a school is starting from a lower score, because there is more room for improvement. Another helpful rule of thumb is that, because domain scores are normed on a scale of 0-10, an increase of two points in a domain score represents an increase of one standard deviation and likely represents a statistically meaningful change. This magnitude of change is likely due to some improvements or changes in leadership practice that teachers and staff are experiencing.
While progress monitoring and setting goals is helpful to set priorities around improvement efforts and where you hope to be as a school, it’s important to note that making sustainable change to culture can take some time. Incorporating teachers into the improvement efforts, by engaging in conversations about the data and the types of support that may be helpful in improving their experience, is really how we’ve seen school leaders make the most significant and sustaining gains.