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The advice I have been given about walkthroughs is pretty much what you suggested - frequent but short visits connected to times when I am already walking around. I am often between 2 different buildings and most of my meetings are in other people's offices so it is somewhat easy to leave a bit early and go into classrooms on my way or go into classrooms at the end - especially when I am between buildings. I also try to book off time in my schedule in the morning and afternoon - about 30 min or so to try to prevent people from booking meetings all day. That seems to work most of the time but the trick is to put in those short blocks of time early in the year. 

The "Feedback Form" Myth

We started about 15 years ago with the Danielson forms and quickly realized how difficult it was to use them to observe teachers and that you would never see what you wanted in a single lesson so we abandoned them. Instead we go into classrooms with nothing and look at 4 aspects of lessons: Task, instructional strategy, design of class or lesson, student engagement or what they are doing. We observe part of a lesson and then outside the classroom jot down notes in those 4 categories. The purpose is to get an overall sense of what is happening in classrooms more generally and what it tells us about teaching within the schools. Our next step is to have teachers do walkthroughs with each other using the same structure and reflect on what they have learned. 

The "Inter-Rater Reliability" Myth

We don't do this - teacher evaluations are based on multiple visits by multiple people over time and include discussions with the teachers about their practice, a review of unit and lesson plans, assessment tools and other materials that they provide as part of a portfolio of evidence. Multiple people work on the evaluation document to provide their insight and the teacher also has an opportunity to review the document and put in their own feedback. It is meant to be a conversation and meant to be about professional growth. We do use a modification of Danielson's framework to help us decide if what we are observing is "good enough" given where the teacher is in their practice but we don't score teachers. 

The "Inter-Rater Reliability" Myth

I have received feedback sandwiches from supervisors and it doesn't feel authentic - more forced and you remember the 'negative' comments more than the positive anyways and feedback always stings. Instead I try to have a conversation with the teacher and ask them to tell me their thoughts about the lesson or ask them a question that occurred to me while watching or something of interest or link it to a piece of research. I let teachers know that I will be in classrooms but to just ignore me and I only follow up with them if there is something of note. One day I was in a gr 8 math class when they were using algebra tiles to learn about negative and positive numbers - something I had never really understood so I sat down to listen and learn. This was a new teacher's class so I made sure I found them later to explain why I had stayed and how clear their explanation was - good thing I did that because they were initially nervous about why I had stayed - but we had a good conversation about what I had learned and how that mini-lesson had sparked other questions. It was more successful than feedback would have been. 

Seonaid Davis

K-5 Principal

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