There are those who espouse that it is OK for someone to visit a classroom for three to five minutes, check some boxes on a form and then send the teacher the form “so she can have immediate feedback.

There are many adjectives that I can use to describe this all too common practice.  Today I will select one of the more polite terms… LAZY.  Yes, lazy.

We’re not even going to discuss the lack of validity of a single 3-minute observation. Let’s just hit the fact that getting a form with random check marks really doesn’t tell the teacher much of anything. Other than no matter how hard she tries, she can’t do everything. Is that the feedback we want to give teachers?

So, move past lazy and do this.  Be honest with your teachers, tell them that it will take a number of short observations (around 20) to separate random occurrence from typical practice.  Which means that instead of teachers having to chase their tails, trying to do everything, all the time, they should teach while you watch for a couple of weeks. And then, here’s the hard part, you and the teacher will sit down and have an actual conversation about the practices the teacher typically uses and what practices can be replaced, added or leveraged.  That’s real feedback. 

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on! 
  • Upcoming Conference Presentations: Texas ASCD Summer Conference, The National Principals Conference; The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on  and like Lead Your School on Facebook