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Walk-Throughs in Your School
Old 03-19-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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Do you have multiple walk-throughs by various staff memebers (principal, assistant principal, curriculum coordinator, etc.) in your schools? We have started have them a lot (several times a week) in our school. I don't mind and have actually told the students to keep on working when anyone comes in so this does not bother our lessons. I was just curious about other schools who experience this practice. Please share.


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One walk-thru
Old 03-19-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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is supposed to occur a week - however, there have been 4 official ones done this entire year by my principal and I think 3 by my ap.....there is a form that is filled out and placed in our box when a walk-thru has taken place...we were given information as to what the various codes mean....the principal is to look at the academic focus...type of engagement...level of questioning (higher order on Bloom's taxnomy- analysis versus knowledge or comprehension) - what makes it difficult is you never know when one will happen - so I work to prepare a bank of questions as well as having lesson objectives posted daily as part of my scedule written on the board.....that way when one of the 2 walk in they just need to glance at the board, the clock and see if that is where we are at the time they are walking thru...often a walk-thru becomes a sit-in when they sit down and stay for the lesson ....quite nerve-wrecking in most cases....but is getting better by planning ahead and anticipting what could happen based on what has happened.
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Old 03-19-2007, 03:43 AM
 
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Wow I can't believe you all have a walk through (or more) each week! How do the principals and AP get anything else done? We have one formal walk through each six weeks. The AP and Principal trade off. They are in and out of our classroom frequently, but I don't consider each time they come into my classroom to be a walk through.
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Walk Throughs
Old 03-19-2007, 04:02 AM
 
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We don't have any walk-throughs! Sometimes we can go for weeks without seeing our principal.
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Old 03-19-2007, 06:08 AM
 
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Oh yes, but the walk-throughs are sporadic now.

It's usually a group of district administrators and one board member. The first two years this started, these happened quite often, maybe once or twice a month. The superintendent came into my room at least 7 or 8 times.

Now they tell us they'll be coming on such-and-such a date, but 75% of the time they cancel.

How many times can you say "dog-and-pony" show?

I'd rather the administrators spend a two-week annual refresher alone in my classroom to remember what this is all about (and for some of them who have never taught, to experience first-hand what it's all about).

To be fair, I guess if they had their druthers, the administrators would just as soon not be coming out to the schools. They have enough work to do. Some "power that be" has mandated these walk throughs and added this to their plates.

I guess administrators and teachers are all in this thing together.


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almost every day!
Old 03-19-2007, 08:15 AM
 
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We are a very small school and my principal is in my room for at least 15 minutes every day on the days that she is around. It is pretty much the same for all the other teachers as well. At this point, I am very used to it as are my kids so no one really notices and she will come in a work with groups sometimes as we are working. Our assisstant superintendent comes in a few times a year to observe any of our new curriculum. The kids are used to her as well.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:11 AM
 
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I work in a charter school and there are forever people in and out of my room. I have a model classroom so I have teachers on their prep time observing, I have our director of instruction who does a walk-through once a week and a 15 minute observation once a week. My principal is in and out all of the time. I'm totally used to it.

To the person who said how do the principal and assistant principal get anything done....that IS their job! They don't get paid to sit at their desk all day, and frankly I wouldn't want to work for a principal who did that. My principal knows all 300 of our students by name, greets them every morning as they come in, and frequently teaches lessons in the classrooms [particularly character education type things].

I wouldn't want to work in a place where I didn't feel like I was constantly being supported by a network of people who are child-focused and trying to do the very best job they can.
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sort of the same idea
Old 03-19-2007, 10:10 AM
 
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In Ontario, there seems to be a movement among admin. to do walk-throughs to "unofficially" assess what is happening in classrooms. This is all based on a book called "The Three-Minute Classroom Walk-Through:Changing Supervisory Practice One Teacher at a Time. It seems to be the new bible here. Luckily, my principal does not make a big deal about it, although she does do pop-ins from time to time. She's never had anything to say about what I am doing.
I do know that in some areas, there are teams that come into schools that are not meeting certain benchmarks and they come into classes and tear them apart (not literally), all in the interest of improving test scores.
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walk through?
Old 03-19-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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What's that? My principal hasn't been in my room for at least 2 years. There's good and bad in that. I think I might like him in there sometimes to see what I do. He doesn't even come for events where he's been invited (young aouthor's teas, puppet shows, etc.)
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horsenut.....
Old 03-19-2007, 06:25 PM
 
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I am also in Ontario. A few years ago we had superintendents coming to visit each class and we had a list of things they were looking for. When our guy came it was kind of ridiculous. He had his list of questions and came with his own supply teacher who took over the class while we had the 15 minute talk. So he asked his questions and I answered ---- except he didn't know how to carry the conversation any further. He was secondary and didn't have a clue about what was going on in a grade 1 classroom. Afterwards I found out the experience was much the same for other staff members. His comment in the JK class was along the lines of "I couldn't stand it here. Ten minutes with these little kids and I would have a headache!"

I'm not sure if my Board has bought into the The Three Minute Classroom. I will keep my ears open for that title. Our principals have less and less experience ---- last year I heard at a steward's training that the group of principals currently in place is the least experienced group of principals in the history of the province. I sometimes wonder if that is what's driving a lot of the top down stuff we are getting these days. I have worked with many principals and for the most part they were in and out of classrooms all the time. They didn't need someone telling them to do a "walk-through." Most of them have retired.

Are you a Turn Around School or a FIPA School? There is one turnaround school and several FIPA schools in my board. They seem to be the schools getting the teams coming in and questioning absolutely everything. I wonder what will happen to LTD rates in these schools. I know many teachers are stressed. All in the name of EQAO........................... ..................


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Old 03-19-2007, 10:50 PM
 
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We have peer walk-throughs (with principal, colleague, perhaps the Curriculum Specialist/VP) 1-2 times a month for some months, usually less often. ones that are missed b/c of emergencies, sick days, or whatever aren't made up.
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Old 03-20-2007, 02:44 AM
 
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The last couple of years walkthroughs have been the big thing. This year I've only had a couple in addition to my 45 minute appraisal. The big thing this year is to make sure student expectations for what we are learning are posted each week and that the kids know them.
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Not Turn Around or FIPA
Old 03-20-2007, 06:55 AM
 
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We are not a turn around or FIPA school. In fact, our EQAO scores tend to be above or at the provincial and board results. We just know about the walk-throughs because our principal told us about the book.
I do agree that the principals are less and less experienced all the time. It seems that after a couple of years of teaching, if they take the principal courses, all of a sudden they are in admin.
In our board, we are even enticing retired principals and vice-principals to come back (temporarily) out of retirement to fill vacancies that have arisen during the school year.
My principal came from the secondary panel and really doesn't have a good grasp on what Primary is all about. However, she does have the good sense to pretty much let us run the show most of the time.
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:29 PM
 
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Our EQAO scores are also considered good but we are a CODE school for kindergarten and grade 1. Stands for Council of Directors of Education and essentially we are a pilot project for changing our method of delivering early reading intervention. It is not as stressful as the experience some of the Turn Around and FIPA schools are experiencing. We are getting a day and half release per month to collaborate, $200 per classroom, $55 for a professional resource.

So far all of our elementary principals have come from the elementary panel. I'm not sure how that would fly if they started appointing secondary people to elementary positions. I wonder how common that is.

We currently have one acting VP who is in his/her third year of teaching. This is his/her first career so his/her depth of experience is somewhat limited.
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It's become unbearable...
Old 03-24-2007, 08:05 AM
 
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for some teachers. Our principal comes through for a couple of minutes, usually twice a week. That's not a problem. We are a Reading First school, so there is a district team that spends 20-30 minutes observing teaching of Houghton Mifflin. They go to one grade level each time. There were ELEVEN people in the visiting team to my room last week. We also have a team from the state visit once a year, to see that we are in compliance. Lately, word has spread that our school is doing well, in that area, so another district is sending their 30 elementary principals to observe. These teams are usually in groups of 6-7. These professionals talk out loud, and even take PICTURES of the room during instruction! Last week, the same teachers were visited twice! We are 2 weeks from testing, and this can be very disruptive to teacher planning. BTW, the state team goes to individual students, during instruction, asking questions, and even interrupts the teachers!
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Administrators' jobs
Old 03-24-2007, 08:21 AM
 
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I disagree with the post that said that observing in classrooms is the administrator's job. They should observe often in classrooms that have new teachers, or where there's a problem situation. But they shouldn't have to waste time observing in classrooms where the teachers are experienced and things are going well. There are so many things that they have to do: budget, discipline, curriculum development, parent relations, they have to okay just about everything that goes on. We need to do our jobs well, so they have the time to do theirs well.
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I dare you...
Old 03-24-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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Jenirae said:
Quote:
These teams are usually in groups of 6-7. These professionals talk out loud, and even take PICTURES of the room during instruction! Last week, the same teachers were visited twice! We are 2 weeks from testing, and this can be very disruptive to teacher planning. BTW, the state team goes to individual students, during instruction, asking questions, and even interrupts the teachers!
I believe constant disruptions are one of the biggest challenges we teachers face! Whether it is the office calling to say that Joey's mother has dropped off his lunch for the fourth time this week; a sly knock on the door from a kid walking in line in a passing class; the district lanscape crew invading with lawnmowers, chainsaws, and gas blowers just outside your windows; really stupid announcements over the PA; or even a kid from another class bringing you a cupcake to celebrate her birthday (so nice of their teacher to let her do that, isn't it?); these constant disruptions add up! It certainly is the LAST thing admin should be doing!

So... I dare you...

the next time these state muckity-mucks come into your room and so rudely disrupt your lesson, be a professional. Stand up. Protect your students' right to learn. Protect your valuable instructional time.

Calmly stop and ask the head know-it-all, "May I have a private word with you?"

Say, "As a professional, I must ask you and your entourage to please refrain from disrupting my classroom while I am teaching. My lesson is important. Your actions are sending the message that my lesson is NOT important."

If they want to make an issue of your request, they will end up with mud on their faces. Because you are right, and they are wrong.

If these people really value education like they say they do, they will respect you infinitely for your courage and for doing your job.

Last edited by Fiddle4Fun; 03-24-2007 at 04:35 PM..
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