upon a time, a long, long time ago, teachers were allowed to close
their classroom doors, and basically teach their students whatever they
wanted to, however they wanted to, whenever they wanted to. Classroom
teachers were given complete independence, and they very rarely ever
saw an administrator in their classrooms.
Classroom Walkthrough Guide: What are People Looking for when they Walk Through my Classroom?
Sebastian Wren, Ph.D.
Those days are gone.
hardly a day goes by that administrators are not walking through
classrooms observing instruction. Modern principals strive to be in
every classroom every day. Assistant principals and curriculum
specialists come by and observe instruction regularly. Even district
administrators drop in from time to time.
It's only fair to ask,
what are these people looking for when they come in your class? In a
perfect world, administrators would communicate clear expectations, and
they would clearly explain what they want to see when they visit
Clearly, we don't live in a perfect world. Teachers
are often confused about what administrators are looking for when they
visit classrooms and observe instruction.
The truth is,
different administrators might be looking for different things when
they visit classrooms. However, in my experience, most administrators
are looking for some fairly basic things that are hallmarks of "best
instructional practices." Most of these hallmarks of effective
instruction cut across all grades and subject areas, but since I bring
the perspective of a literacy instructional consultant, I am more
facile with the hallmarks of high-quality literacy instruction –
especially in elementary school. Please keep that in mind as you read
Essentially, when I visit classrooms with administrators, the things we are looking for fall into four major categories:
1. Classroom / Instructional Organization
2. Student Engagement
3. Alignment of Instruction
4. Rigor of Instruction
I address each of these topics in my classroom observation guide that you can download free of charge here.
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300471 • Austin, TX 78703
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Last Updated 4-5-09