6.2 Scoring “Doesn’t sound like Katie”


Scoring guide for doesn’t sound like Katie

Here’s how it is scored:

  • ¬†High Responds positively. Affirming response to content shared plus pursuit. [FYI: Pursuit means following up!]
    • Note 1: Affirming responses include asking a question about what the parent shared, making an understanding statement (I hear your concern; I understand why you might be worried), agreeing with the parent (I am a young teacher), and acknowledging the validity of their statement (Well, that is a distinct possibility).
    • Note 2: Pursuit includes treating the parent as an expert by directly commenting on their exprertise, building on content that they shared, and asking questions related to the content shared. Pursuit also includes making connections between the content shared and meeting purpose or next steps.
    • Note 3: Teachers can defend themselves and be high, but not if they use a but to weaken the affirming response (I am a new teacher, that’s true, BUT I have a lot of experience with children).
    • Note 4: A series of questions related to the content shared can be high. One question is not high unless accompanied by other affirming, connecting, or expert recognizing content.
  • Medium Responds neutrally. Might 1) Ignore concern (Talk about something different; ask question not related to content shared); 2) Give an affirming response without pursuit (e.g. asks question related to concern without following up or acknowledge that the parent is right and then describe student for rest of time); 3) Quasi responds and pursues by providing a non-affirming response that acknowledges what the parent says (With that being said, Maybe it’s the class) and pursues by making a connecting, building on, or recognizing expertise; or 4) Provides an affirming response and pursue but also defends self using “but” in a way that weakens the affirming response
  • Low Responds negatively. Might blame the student, contradict the parent, or focus on defending/explaining themselves or their teaching.
    • Note 1: Blaming the student includes stating that the child is doing it on purpose (she doesn’t want to engage) or using pejorative language about the child like “weird.”
    • Note 2: Contradicting the parent includes denying the validity of the parent’s comment or comparing the child to more successful students.
    • Note 3: Defending and explaining include focusing exclusively on an alternate explanation for the phenomenon and self-defense of their teaching or credentials. If the teacher moves past defense (e.g. pivots to a question related to the concern or the meeting purpose), score as medium, not low.


Tips on scoring

  • For a high, the affirming response can be to either the parent saying it doesn’t seem like Katie or to it is something you are doing. Any acknowledgement that the parent seems to be seeing something different at home counts as an affirming response.
  • Judging tone on a transcript is HARD! The default is to be generous. If the language is explicitly blaming the student, contradicting the parent, or a strong defense of the teacher then it is low. Ambiguous phrases like, “Oh interesting,” get ignored or the benefit of the doubt. Score on the part of the response that are explicit– did they affirm what the parent said, ignore it, or somehow argue against it?


Now, let’s see what that looks like in practice!

If the participant says…. Well, I just think that there’s maybe something that just doesn’t want she just doesn’t want to maybe be friends or not be friends, but she just doesn’t want to like, exert herself. And I really just want her to have the best possible class time. I want her to be successful in life. So both socially and intellectually, and I really just want to figure out a way that she can really step out of that bubble. She, whenever we do peer interactions with the groups, she’ll she’ll do it, she prefers to be working alone, which I get is better for some people. But I really want her to just engage with her classmates, you can have some really great discussions, learn new things from your classmates. So I was just wondering if there any ways that you think we could do that?

They would be scored… Low

Because… Here the teacher is responding negatively. He is denying that the parent could be right and, above all, blaming the student (doesn’t want to be friends… exert herself). The goal here is for the teacher to respond in a way that builds the relationship with the parent– and it is hard to see how this response doesn’t damage the relationship.


If the participant says…. I mean, I feel like me and Katie have a pretty good relationship. Like, I think she knows, especially from that conversation,… how much I really want her to succeed and care for her in the classroom. And I want this classroom to be very comfortable and safe for her and that she likes going to school. So I just yeah, I don’t, I personally feel like we have a really great relationship.

They would be scored… Low

Because… This one seems less negative but the teacher is still leading by saying that the parent is wrong– and then comes back to that later by saying “I don’t… I feel like we have a great relationship.” Again, it is hard to see how this could build a stronger relationship with a parent.


If the participant says…. Um, you mentioned like the rest of it, what parts of what I said specifically, were you thinking like, didn’t sound like Katie? Right. Yeah. And that was my point is that, um, she’s still performing really well, I just, and, um, I think what I was trying to say when I talked about my meeting with her was that she definitely responded and everything. Um, she just like, sort of quickly answered and was like, No, no, I’m not having any issues. And I just wanted to make sure that there wasn’t anything underlying that she was like, nervous to bring up with me. You know what I mean? Because I, I could see that in a sense, a one on one meeting might have put her on the spot, and she just didn’t feel comfortable bringing it up with me at that moment.

They would be scored… Medium

Because… This response is pretty neutral. The teacher is gathering information and explaining their classroom so this isn’t going to harm the relationship, but also this isn’t a positive response.


If the participant says…. Yeah, well, yeah, that’s why I wanted you to come in because I wanted to see the best way that we can serve her and make her feel, like I said, comfortable. I did meet with her recently, and I was asking her about how her experience has been in the classroom so far.

They would be scored… High

Because… Here we see a teacher pivoting. They start by acknowledging what the parent is saying by connect the parent’s concern to the purpose for the meeting. This is an affirming response that takes a challenging line from a parent and turns it into something that can build a relationship.


If the participant says…. I can see, I can see how you would think that and how that would be frustrating. I do want to reassure you that I do have experience in education and in classrooms and working with a diverse group of kids and certain behaviors. And that’s really, why I called you in today and why I really wanted to talk to you today because I have my own experiences, but you also have experiences that are super beneficial to this conversation and to Katie’s success. So that’s really kind of what I wanted to hear from you. So at home, I guess like you were saying, so she’s very different at home than what I’m saying at school?

They would be scored… High

Because…Here again the teacher is acknowledging the parent’s point of view and validating their families– and then this teacher too goes back to why the parent has been invited in.


Click on the quiz below to practice!