A Reader Asks… Feedback from a Single Classroom Observation

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An Assistant Superintendent asks the following:

SC,

I have a question about PowerWalks. Why aren’t there recommended suggestion to choose from on the PowerWalks form?  We think it would be a good idea to give the teachers an idea to think about or work on after we visit their classrooms.

SC Response I’m glad you asked this question because I can prevent you from making an all too common mistake…  Reading too much into a single classroom visit.

We coach observers and teachers not to expect feedback or suggestions after every observation.  Frankly, a single 3-minute observation is a random wisp of time.  Instead, we train everyone to work from observed trends and patterns.  And you need at least 15-individual classroom visits to distinguish a pattern from an anomaly.

Now there are caveats, and the PowerWalks system addresses this.

1. If the observer reports something exceptional during the observation the system will prompt the observer to send a notice to the teacher.  

2. If the observer wants to share a specific positive comment, the observer can email the message to the observer.

HOWEVER, if the observer has a question or a concern, the observer should email himself a reminder to go talk to the teacher.  Questions and concerns should NEVER be e-mailed to the teacher.

Always keep in mind that PowerWalks is designed to create “game film” for the purpose of coaching teachers.  This requires multiple visits by observers and conversations between teachers and instructional leaders.

I hope this helps.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

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