In our third year of practicing instructional rounds, I continue to learn and grow in my ability to deliver quality, meaningful feedback to our teachers. They are the best. The top. The elite professionals. I often tell them they are the “Michael Phelps” of education. And even Michael Phelps needs a coach to be the best in his field. I believe instructional rounds is one of the most effective methods to professional growth in education.
“A commitment to professional learning is important, not because teaching is of poor quality and must be ‘fixed,’ but rather because teaching is so hard that we can always improve it. No matter how good a lesson is, we can always make it better. Every professional teacher has a responsibility to be involved in a career-long quest to improve practice.” C. Danielson
What is the difference between the traditional observation that far too many educators experience across the nation and the practice of instructional rounds?
|Traditional Observation||Instructional Rounds|
|1 admin observes 1 teacher at a time||3-5 admin/teachers observe 1 teacher at a time, 3-4 teachers in a row. All 6-9 debrief together for an hour in the same week.|
|observer leaves carbon copy of eval in teacher’s mailbox||observee receives 3-5 typed evaluations in advance of a whole group, one hour debrief. **|
|observation happens once maybe twice throughout year||observations happen at least 4 consecutive weeks for more frequent, in depth feedback|
|data is useful only for that teacher||data is useful for teacher and helps school build a pedagogical map of teaching and learning practices|
The official hashtag I use for instructional rounds is #irfedu. Please use it and share your experiences. What other differences can you see between traditional observation and instructional rounds?