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Fred's Message:

I also work in a district where we have walkthroughs by administrators.
The number of walkthroughs varies from principal to principal, depending upon their philosophy. Last year, our principal required a LOT of walkthroughs by all five assistant principals. Sometimes, I would look up, and more than one person would be in my class at a time. At first, it bugged me, but then I realized that it gave them an opportunity to know what a good job I was doing. Years ago, when I became a department chair, I realized that not everyone works as hard as I do. Therefore, the walkthroughs gave me a chance to shine. Eventually, once they knew I was doing my job, they quit coming to see me and focused on other teachers (who needed more attention, I guess). In my district, if you have tenure, you can just take walkthroughs in lieu of a formal assessment, and they repeat your same scores over and over again. I like that system. I haven't had anyone watch me do a complete lesson in
about ten years now. Also, I don't worry too much if anyone makes their way through my room. I do the best I can on any given day, and that's about all anyone can ask. I can't worry about what anyone thinks of me these days as long as I know I am doing my best.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Tuxedocat 12-25-2019 09:15 PM

FIVE assistant principals? Wow! I can't even imagine! Most places I work share AN AP with another school or two.

Renea 01-06-2016 03:42 PM

It's not as bad as you think it might be. Our P walked through at least once a day. We had learning targets posted on the board for each lesson and he would ask a few kids what they were learning. I trained the kids to remember to use the targets posted and tell our P what we were learning. The kids we proud to know what they we studying. I was glad that the P could tell we were working our bums off all the time. It's not as bad as you think.

awakelate1 01-06-2016 01:49 PM

I am with you Tounces. I never like them. I have been teaching for a long time as well. I get nervous and lose track of my thinking for a bit. I usually get high marks on everything, but it still makes me uncomfortable. I have kind of gotten cocky, though, because my kids' test scores are usually good. At one meeting, the prince said, "Whatever you are doing, keep doing it." So, I relaxed a little...a very little.

mrsg605 12-22-2006 10:16 AM

This is our first year with a new principal and she does the "Principal Walk Through". It was stressful at first, but most of the staff is used to the program now. After she leaves, a write up will be placed in our mailbox with her observations.

Molly NJ 12-15-2006 08:03 PM

My district has been doing these informal walk-throughs for at least five years now. These are in addition to our 2 formal observations per year (tenured teachers), 4 formals per year (2nd and 3rd year teachers), and 6 formals (1st year teachers). We all refer to the walk-throughs as "drive-bys". The principal I worked for my first 3 years in this district was in the rooms all the time. It was stressful at first, not knowing what she was looking for, but it became such a regular thing that eventually it didn't even phase me when she came in. She would always leave a little note stating a positive and sometimes a suggestion.

Laura 12-14-2006 07:00 PM

Our district told us that the walk throughs are "for the principal". Our union also said this. The principal does review anything he/she finds with you and does not deep a copy for her/himself.
I am used to principals popping in. Others in my district are not used to this. Many principals just lock themselves into their offices. At least they have toknow what is going on now!

ily 12-14-2006 04:47 PM

We have them too, I don't worry too much, she walks around if the children are working she will talk to some of the students, they want the children to know the purpose of the activity they are doing. We are supposed to get feedback, and I got lots of great feedback last year, but this year we have a new principal and no feedback.

Ima Teacher 12-14-2006 04:16 PM

We've had them for several years. It's not that big of a deal. I actually prefer more frequent visits to the "one shot" observations. I've had principals, central office staff, other teachers, and various other people in walkthroughs in my room. They all have a different "walkthrough instrument" they use, but it's pretty much the same.

They want to see that we're teaching to the standards, have certain kinds of information posted, the intereactions with the kids/their involvement, technology use, and even if the room is neat.

Tounces 12-14-2006 07:57 AM

We've had them too. They have been informal and nothing has been left on my desk afterwards. I don't like them even though I'm doing great. I have formal observations because I'm in a different state. I've been teaching around 15 years now. I don't think I'll ever like them or get used to them. I'm such a perfectionist, I spend the time getting nervous or worry about little things when they're in instead of staying focused on what I was doing. They distract me a lot, probably more than my kids.
Now, they have deleoped a more formal walk through. They have checklists for every subject, like what should be up in the room, how I ask questions, how my objectives are written and posted, etc. They are even training parents to do walk throughs. After training, they will come through rooms with the checklist and later meet with gropus of parents to discuss what they saw. I really think this is overboard. I don't think I should have to teach and get repeatedly watched. I'm a professional teacher. I always do my best and have mulitple degrees. I don't like being treated like teachers need to be watched all the time. I feel like they don't trust us. How many times must I have to prove myself-the rest of my career? What's next? I know one school in my district has cameras in the room now. People can observe, zoom in etc. from the hall to see what's going on!

Fred 12-14-2006 07:40 AM

I also work in a district where we have walkthroughs by administrators.
The number of walkthroughs varies from principal to principal, depending upon their philosophy. Last year, our principal required a LOT of walkthroughs by all five assistant principals. Sometimes, I would look up, and more than one person would be in my class at a time. At first, it bugged me, but then I realized that it gave them an opportunity to know what a good job I was doing. Years ago, when I became a department chair, I realized that not everyone works as hard as I do. Therefore, the walkthroughs gave me a chance to shine. Eventually, once they knew I was doing my job, they quit coming to see me and focused on other teachers (who needed more attention, I guess). In my district, if you have tenure, you can just take walkthroughs in lieu of a formal assessment, and they repeat your same scores over and over again. I like that system. I haven't had anyone watch me do a complete lesson in
about ten years now. Also, I don't worry too much if anyone makes their way through my room. I do the best I can on any given day, and that's about all anyone can ask. I can't worry about what anyone thinks of me these days as long as I know I am doing my best.

IMSaved2 12-14-2006 04:16 AM

You may want to post your objectives somewhere so when they walk in they have more of a focus.

Kiki 12-14-2006 03:39 AM

Our school also has walk throughs all the time. It's really no big deal. They come in, talk to a kid or two, give me a wink or a nod and leave.
REEEEELAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TeacherBee 12-14-2006 01:20 AM

Personally, I like having someone pop in during my lessons, I just wish our administrators would give a bit more feedback.

NCP 12-13-2006 07:33 PM

once you get used to it. and it is nice because it helps the kids to know you don't have to stop everything when the principal comes in. They will eventually keep working when they come in, which is a good thing.

Also, our principal usually has a specific thing in mind when he comes in: word walls, print rich, certain things we should have up, number talks, etc. We also usually get some notice of what they are looking for.

Hylin 12-13-2006 04:11 PM

i agree with readerrabbit...

if you're doing what you're supposed to do, what's the worry? i teach in a charter school and there are forever people in my room, like on a daily basis. we also have a peer observation schedule that requires us to visit the classrooms of other teachers on our prep time. i'm so used to having people in my room, that when there isn't anyone it feels weird.

new1stteacher 12-13-2006 03:38 PM

and it is not bad. You get used to people coming in and it just makes your formal evaluations easier to deal with. We also get datawalks where more than one person comes in and looks for certain things. We get feedback on the walkthroughs but not datawalks.

Just teach your kids not to react to people coming into your classroom and stay on task. You can tell them that your administration is coming to watch them to see who will be ready for the next grade. ha!

Chick 12-13-2006 02:13 PM

This happens to us all the time!! Our principal even gave us a copy of the form he uses, so we know what he's looking for in the room.

Here are some of the things: students' work posted, standards posted with essential questions, word wall, calendar math, vocabulary words, schedule, mission statement, goals, rules and consequences, exemplary work of students posted with comments, teacher/student engagement in some activity (he might even ask a student what they are dong or what standard they are working on)... these are few things.

Hope this helps!! <!--CHRISTMAS3-->

Leah E 12-13-2006 02:03 PM

My principal last year did this as well and would leave a paper with comments on my desk before he left. I don't know if it will be the same with you, but my principal would comment on random things, so I never new what he was looking for. Sometimes he would leave a comment about the lesson, student engagement, etc. However, he would sometimes leave a comment on the neatness (or lack of) the classroom, whether or not our standards were posted, whether or not we had our focus written on the board, etc.

Hokie Fan 12-13-2006 01:43 PM

This is normal for us. Our principal, vice principal, reading coach, or any other visitors to the building (school board, etc) can walk into our room whenever. It's not a big deal and I don't even stress it anymore. They always leave a note on our desk before they leave giving us feedback. Sometimes, depending on the note I will have to catch them in the hall and explain my lesson, reasoning, etc.
Most recently the principal left a note saying she couldn't find my lesson plans and told me I should have them on my desk, my small group table, or in my hands. I later told her they were next to my chair on the carpet, because that is where I do my teaching. She said "Great, if that's where you teach, that's where they should be. Now I know where to find them next time." I find it as a positive thing that she wants to see us teach and at times I've been able to "show-off" some cool lessons that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.
The first walk through might be difficult and nerve-racking, but after that you will begin to see what she wants and it'll be easier. My first year of teaching my team seemed to be getting crap for EVERYTHING we did. This is my third year and now the reading coach says how everything we are doing is great and we don't have any of the "struggles" of the other grade levels. Stay positive!

readerabbit 12-13-2006 01:36 PM

This happens to us all the time. I didn't know it was a program. I just thought the principal was doing her job. I guess since I taught in an open area for 8 years I feel like an open book. As long as you are doing what you are suppose to be doing whats the big deal? Sure you get nervous but if you react then your kids react. Take this an opportunity to show the neat stuff your kids are doing or if Jonny is having a good day compared to others share that with the principal it takes the focus off of you.<!--CHRISTMAS2-->

Penny 12-13-2006 12:33 PM

My district is adopting a walk through program that is campus wide. They come in, looking for certain things and then ranks us as a campus. It's not an individual teacher thing. Basically they're looking to see if we're using higher order thinking skills and how much time as a campus we spend on what kind of activities. It's really low stress.

teach2all 12-13-2006 12:33 PM

Our whole district requires this. It's really not too bad. They walk through unannounced, usually once a week. The principal or assistant may have a piece of paper to write down observations. My principal will actually ask the students what they're doing, if we've done this before, etc. It really isn't that big of a deal, so try not to stress.

act56 12-13-2006 12:18 PM

We have been informed that our school is going to participate
in a NEW program called Principal Walk Through. In essence,
if I understand it, the principal will come in periodically, looking
for certain things and later pull a grade level together to
DIScUSS the things he sees. I don't get it. Has ANYONE
heard of this. He claims that it is a great program and is
endorsed by Phi Beta Kappa. HELP!!! It just sounds stressful
to me.




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