In Texas, a lot of campus leaders are freaking out over the new teacher evaluation system, T-TESS.  Specifically, will the formative observations that they have been doing align with summative T-TESS requirements.  I can’t speak to the lesser formative observation systems that are in use, but I can speak to the best Formative Observation System, PowerWalks.  This series of four posts will address each T-TESS domain and its relationship and correlations to PowerWalks.

T-TESS Domain 2 Post

T-TESS Domain 3 Post

T-TESS Domain 4 Post

T-TESS Domain 1: Planning The BIG question is, “Can one evaluate teacher planning with a three to five minute classroom observation.” 

The honest answer is, “No.” 

The accurate process for determining if a teacher is meeting the requirements of Domain 1 is the on-going involvement of leadership in the instructional planning process. By the way, the active involvement of leadership in the instructional planning process is a best practice.

However, there are indicators and trends that can be observed and revealed in a high-volume formative observation environment that could allow one to assume that the requisite focused planning has been occurring. See the chart below. The areas highlighted with the color GREEN represent areas of correlation.

T-TESS Domain 1: Planning

PowerWalks Modules

Standards & Alignment 1.1 Data & Assessment 1.2 Knowledge of Students 1.3 Activities 1.4
Instructor Location
Pupil Engagement
Lesson Framing
High Yield Practices
Instructional Rigor
Instructional Relevance
Classroom Climate

PowerWalks Alignment and Correlation to Domain 1   As a teacher gets better at the best practice addressed in the six PowerWalks modules, the appraiser is provided subjective evidence that the elements of T-TESS Domain 1 are being addressed.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on! 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on  and like Lead Your School on Facebook