This past week I conducted a series of walk-through training sessions for principals. Our workshops were hosted by North West Regional ESD and they took us through NWRESD's four-county service area in the northwest corner of Oregon – Washington, Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook.
Each day opened with a discussion of rigor and relevance "look-for's." I used videos of classrooms that allowed the local principals to generate observations with "virtual walk-throughs." Then we traveled to a local school where we could work in small teams to hone our observations skills using this basic guide
. (16 kb pdf.) The day closed with a full-group session where we processed our reflections. Our goal was to assist principals in fostering dialog with teachers about a more shared vision of teaching and learning.
Evaluations from the principals were positive - they wrote:
The real walkthroughs were beneficial because I was practicing what we discussed in the morning.
This will push me to look for a deeper level of instruction from staff – a deeper level of learning in students.
Just the nudge I needed to "refocus" my professional conversations. I'll be looking at classrooms with a more focused lens.
It makes me want to go back to teaching students – I would be a much better teacher.