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T-TESS: Pre-Conference

How important is the pre-conference?

The T-TESS Pre-Conference is just as important as the actual observation. The information gathered will be used to score all of Domain 1: Planning and parts of Domain 2: Instruction. It is imperative that you are well-versed in the criteria in all dimensions in the T-TESS Rubric. Know the rules before you play the game. You can find all of the domains, dimensions, and criteria here: T-TESS Rubric

What should I expect at the pre-conference?

The pre-conference is a discussion between you and your appraiser regarding the planning that goes into the complete lesson cycle. In the conference, you are setting the stage for what your appraiser will see during the formal observation including: student learning, classroom environment, and behavior management. More importantly, you are explaining the thought process for planning your lesson. This is where you “wow” the appraiser with all of the work you did in PLCs and team meetings. You will prove you are the expert regarding the needs of your students by explaining the disaggregation of data, differentiation, and alignment of the lesson. Yes, this is all the information that you are not required to put in your lesson plans, but required to do and know.

How should I prepare for the pre-conference?

During the conference, the appraiser will ask a series of questions to get a true understanding of your planning process and lesson design. The appraiser can ask questions about Domains 1-3. To get an idea of the types of questions your appraiser may ask and what you should prepare for, click on the following link: T-TESS Appraiser Sample Conferencing Questions


Use the pre-conference time wisely.
Be prepared to talk about the thought process you use and the preparation you put into planning your complete lesson cycle.
Make sure you ask the appraiser what he/she expects to see when observing the lesson in your classroom. This will give you an idea of the appraiser’s priorities for student learning.

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