Friday, January 29, 2016

The Vital Things To Note Concerning Classroom Walkthroughs

By Walter Barnes

This is actually a trending practice among the most organized and well performing schools in the world. This practice is normally carried out by supervisors or principals or going around the school observing various teacher teachers teaching skills and how good their instruction delivery is. Classroom walkthroughs are now being used as a tool to check performance of particular teachers.

The teachers are reminded of the school motto, mission and goal and asked to teach with respect to them. The commonly used tools in such a process include some clinical supervision, thorough classroom observation by supervisors and ensuring feedback is communicated to responsible persons. The teaching skills of a teacher are basically observed but not with an intention of correcting them but rather assisting teachers improve their skills.

The level of assistance that a teacher requires is actually not defined and so using this technique will basically cater for everything. As earlier mentioned the key role of walkthrough is basically not evaluating one instructional delivery but rather is to effectively sharpen the teachers professional skills. Once the skills are sharpened, these teachers find it easy to deliver instructions and start actually enjoying their work.

But the most essential part of instructional leadership is the interaction between the teachers and principal that arises as a result of the practice. Some scholars defines the exercise as a brief, non evaluative, non judgmental, structured observation done by supervisor or principal that is basically followed by brief conversation between the supervisor and the concerned teacher or lecturer about what the principal observed.

The process should not be considered as harassing or embarrassing to teachers but as a way of getting along with the school administrator. All school administrators want what is best for their institutions and so the teachers should be optimist that such practices is for the benefit of the entire school. This is actually a practice that is trending among many schools worldwide.

This practice though is supposed to be distinguished from the common formal evaluation processes for teachers. The technique focuses mainly on engaging teachers or other teaching staff in a dialogue and generally reflecting on teaching practices and also reflecting on school wide goals. The lecturer usually benefits by basically learning how reflection can be used to improve or increase ones knowledge, performance and skills.

Some of common characteristics that are visible from these exercise are, the exercise is quite short around 2 minutes each, they are often not announced, follow up does not occur immediately and they are followed with a report being generated. The objectives include improving learning and teaching and identifying other components available in various models.

There are those teachers that actually dislike the process considering it as being degrading and intimidating. This is a wrong perception of the process as it main goal is to only improve how a person does things or approaches things. The teachers though should be made aware of the benefits associated with the practice. Famous scholars and authors who have largely contributed to this practice include Sather E, Susan, McNeely Marguerite and Lawrence Hayden.

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