A LYS Principal asks: SC, I keep hearing all these numbers about the number of walk-thru’s I should do? Instead of having yet another person who has never done a walk-thru tell me some number she pulled out of thin air, a figured I might as well ask a real expert. SC Response “Expert” may be a little bit of hyperbole. But I do believe that flattery is a skill that should be acknowledged, so thank you. I will admit that I do speak as an early adopter and focused practitioner on the use of frequent, formative classroom observation. The standard is 4 to 5 walk-thru’s a day, if you are on campus. Also the number is per day, not per week. Our business is instruction, as such, we must actively observe, monitor and support instruction every day. Otherwise, we are ignoring our business. Now here is where most central office administrators miss the boat. They tell principals that they have to do 25 walk-thru’s a week. That means by their calculation, if I do zero walk-thru’s Monday to Thursday and 25 walk-thru’s on Friday, that’s OK. It is not. It also means that if central office takes a principal off campus for two days a week for central office meetings that the principal is still accountable for the weekly total. Again, that is incorrect thinking. So what is the number? Anything over 600 documented walk-thru’s a year by campus administrator puts you in the top tier. Anything less than 400 puts you in the ranks of the also-rans. The Super Stars conduct around a 1,000 documented walk-thru’s a year. But here are two things I want you to take away from this discussion. 1. The most important thing and the least important thing about walk-thru’s is the raw number. If you don’t do enough, you will not get the learning benefit. If all you care about is number, you are most likely missing the learning benefit. 2. It takes about 300 walk-thru’s to notice (and subsequently learn) something new. My question to campus administrators is do you want that learning of something new to occur every three months or every three years. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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