Last year, I wrote a blog post for Learning Forward Nebraska on the power of this Instructional Rounds for job-embedded professional learning. Since then, I have continued to participate in Instructional Rounds and still believe they provide an amazing learning experience. However, I often get asked the question, “What if my building is not ready for Instructional Rounds?” I love this question because it demonstrates an understanding of the importance of culture and how establishing a culture of learning plays a crucial role in building professional learning experiences. Instructional Rounds do not just happen on their own. They take time to prepare and are most successful when participants are open to learning and sharing. So how do we get there?

Ultimately, the goal is for education professionals to be able to spend time in each other’s classroom, engage in professional discourse, and build a culture of continuous learning around instructional practices. This requires vulnerability and trust (see Daniel Coyle’s The Culture Code). What are ways you might edge toward a culture of learning that integrates Instructional Rounds? The following structures are designed to get people into each other’s classrooms and begin sharing and discussing:

 

Peer ObservationPineapple Classroom#ObserveME
Who?

  • Two teachers each play the role of observer and observee.

What?

  • Two teachers take turns visiting each other’s classrooms.
  • The observer shares feedback and/or takes notes on agreed upon practices. (Could be building goal)
  • A debrief on the observations occurs.

How?

  • Teachers agree on a time for each observation.

Culture Building

  • The two teachers get to pick who they are comfortable working with. They also get to pick the time and topic. This helps teachers gain a sense of comfort with visitors in the classroom.
Who?

  • Classroom teacher is INVITING teacher observer to see SPECIFIC PRACTICE
  • Teacher observer is the LEARNER

What?

  • Classroom teacher invites other teachers into classroom for informal observation (no forms, no feedback)
  • Teacher observer can take notes
  • Teachers go to classroom at the designated time to watch

How?

  • Weekly chart created where teachers “advertise” interesting activities they are doing in the classroom (approx. time, room #, brief description of lesson/strategy)

Culture Building

  • Teachers comfortable with visitors in the classroom get a chance to show a skill or practice they are proficient in. Teachers are welcome to attend. They do not have to ask permission and they have a choice in what they want to see.
Who?

  • Classroom teacher and teacher observer
    • Classroom teacher is SEEKING FEEDBACK 
    • Teacher observer is the LEARNER

What?

  • Classroom teacher makes a sign that welcomes teacher observers into the classroom
  • Classroom teacher seeks specific feedback 
  • Teacher observer fills out feedback note or Google form (QR code)

How?

  • Classroom teacher posts sign on door with feedback forms and/or URL
  • Teacher observers visit anytime to provide feedback

Culture Building

  • Continuous learning is front and center as a teacher is specifically asking for feedback. A teacher gets the opportunity to choose where they might go and visit.

 

Building a culture of continuous learning amongst professionals is akin to how we build a classroom community with students. It requires invitational teaching pedagogy and a clear vision of success criteria. Small steps of professional collaboration through structures like Pineapple Classroom or Peer Observation can lead to more formalized sharing through Instructional Rounds. Stay the course and visualize your success for 2020! 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *