A LYS superintendent asks,
I find myself struggling to be on campuses and in classrooms as much as I would like to or need to. Perhaps some clarification would help me set an expectation for myself. The last time we talked you mentioned that administrators should complete four to five PowerWalks each day. I equate a campus administrator doing PowerWalks to that administrator being in the Power Zone.
How often should superintendents and central office administrators be on campus? Has that been a part of the LYS discussion? Is the Power Zone for us on campus or in the classroom?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
SC Response Great question! In the grand scheme of things the Power Zone for a teacher is among the students. For the campus administrator, it is in the classroom. For the central office administrator it is on the campus.
Now for the central office administrator, ‘On The Campus’ means in the halls and in the classrooms, not in the principal’s office (as so many central office administrators are apt to do). Brezina taught me to conduct my meetings with my principals while walking in the hallways. The principal gets to show off his or her campus and you get to coach on specific things that you are both observing live. It is still an excellent practice that we recommend to all central office administrators and one that I still use on a regular basis when I’m coaching principals and assistant principals.
But Brezina honed his craft before the power of frequent classroom observation was understood. So we have evolved. We now meet with principals in the halls and pop in on a couple of classes while we are doing so. When central office administrators (especially the Superintendent) conduct regular classroom observations it clarifies for everyone that the delivery and support of effective instruction is the primary focus of the entire organization.
So to specifically answer your question, we coach that central office administrators who were once teachers and now either support or supervise instructional staff should do five to ten classroom walk-thru’s a week. I also believe (and E. Don Brown concurs) that the majority of these walk-thru’s should be done with a campus based observer, be it a teacher to the principal. I can think of no more powerful practice for creating a sense of shared purpose, mission and esprit de corps.
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