As teacher evaluation gets a major nationwide push, I think it is a safe prediction that principals will be spending more of their time in classrooms. While this is a good start, I am concerned that just being in classrooms may have little effect on student learning. To make a difference, principals must be well trained and intentional in their actions while “in the room.”
We know that what the teacher does is important, but especially during those time-sensitive classroom walkthroughs what the students are learning is much more important. So while “in the room” during walkthroughs, how are principals to focus on student learning?
Moss and Brookhart (2013) propose that during “formative walkthroughs” principals determine if the students understand key elements of a lesson by asking them certain questions. What is important for me to do in today’s lesson? ( A learning target) How will I be asked to show I can do it? (Assessments)
Principals should inform their teachers that when they are “in the room,” they will have conversations with students about their learning. By doing this, principals are sending the message that the focus of our school will be student learning.
“A New View of Walk-Throughs” by Connie Moss and Susan Brookhart in Educational Leadership, April 2013.