I’ve been working with Elizabeth Forward School District in Elizabeth PA to enhance the rigor and relevance of their instructional program. I’ve been impressed with the high level of involvement by the full administrative team. We started with half-day workshops for their K-5 and secondary teachers on classroom strategies. I used my TurningPoint audience response system to gather feedback from both audiences. The following day, the administrative team met to analyze the data and develop an action plan.
Soon I will return and we’ll conduct walk-though training for the administrative team. We’ll spend a day working in small teams to observe classrooms in action and alternately meet as a full team to process our observations. By the end of the day we should have a model for conducting walk-throughs that will help principals and teachers to collaborate in a way that is rigorous and relevant to them. Our goal is quick 5-minute walk-throughs that help principals manage the demands of instructional leadership and provide feedback that will enable teachers to reflect on their craft.
I value results over process so I’ve developed a walk-through observation form RR-guide that targets the essentials without becoming a burden to the principal. It designed to serve as the catalyst for a positive principal-teacher discussion. Hopefully that conversation can model the “student-centered” reflection we want to foster in the classroom.