My TPL partner and I recently participated in our 4th Instructional Round with a twist!
Our school was selected for a Round by our local Principal’s Network. This was this group’s first Instructional Round, and the outcome of this experience would direct this group’s professional direction as a network for 2011. The success of Rounds will also eventually lead to teachers being involved in Rounds.
I believe when this happens, classroom practice will improve exponentially. But everything has to start from somewhere!
Preparing our staff for an Instructional Round was crucial. Explaining the purpose, process and unique protocols of the strategy was vital. Teacher’s need to willingly ‘open their classrooms’ and to do this they need to know that this is not about individual teacher assessment, but about whole school improvement.
To prepare our staff we presented Rounds at a staff meeting. Our slideshow is uploaded here for you to view. The background certainly wasn’t dark when projected. We also created two videos to introduce the process. These are available for use by becoming a member of the Instructional Rounds – e5 Instructional Model – Best Practice ‘ning’. Our staff were involved in writing the ‘problem of practice’ and asked, what data they wanted collected on their behalf?
At the end of our presentation staff were asked to reflect, and if they would rather not be included in this Round to inform our principal. We have Casual Relief Teachers working in our school and it would be fully understandable if they had chosen not to be part of this Round. The feedback we received was that not one teacher indicated they didn’t want to be involved. In fact, there was an incredible supportive collegiate feeling in our school. Everyone wanted in!
I think my TPL partner, and my passion for Rounds certainly helped. We made it clear that we were going to be in our classrooms and that we wouldn’t expect anyone to do what we weren’t prepared to do ourselves.
Rounds Experience Reflection.
How did this work?
I had three groups of five principals visit my classroom between 9am and 11am. When the Round classroom observations were finished we joined this group of 30 principals, Regional Network Leaders and our Assistant Regional Director for the Rounds’ Observation Debrief. The groups were structured in a way that we did not review data collected by principals who observed in our classrooms.
Our staff will be debriefed as part of the process soon, and I believe my school will greatly benefit from the data collected.
One staff member gave me the following feedback: She thought being part of the Round was great because it really made her reflect and I shared this feedback with the group.
I understand exactly what she’s saying because I’ve been reflecting too. I hope that others also see me as a reflective practitioner’ and learner. Probably my biggest ‘hope’ as an educator!