“>The incorporation of Instructional Rounds, also known as Learning Walks by some, has been a huge hit at our school. I highly recommend these be something you try with your teachers. We, as educators, are so confined to our own classrooms that we do not get to see the great things happening right next door or across the hall.
Instructional Rounds are the ideal way to have teachers go observe each other with you there to guide the discussion. There are many ways to incorporate these to fit your school’s needs and focus, but I will walk you through the way ours are set up.
Instructional Rounds Protocols (click here for Instructional Rounds Guide):
- Observers (3-4 teachers at most) will meet in Ms. Jenkins’s room at the start of their planning on the days of Instruction Rounds (click here for free schedule sample)
- Prior to the walk, the teachers will receive a clipboard from the Instructional Round wall that will already have the observation sheet (click here for Observation Sheet) on it for the teachers to complete
- There will be a small discussion about what objective we are focusing on in our Instructional Round for the day: Learning Targets being used, Classroom Management, Student Engagement, Etc…
- The teachers will walk to the destination and enter quietly to make their observation:
- There should be no talking or interacting while observing unless the environment allows for it
- Watch for the objective/focus of the Instructional Round
- If teachers see other things worth commenting on, these can also be noted on the Observation Sheet
- After observing for approximately 10 minutes, the teachers will exit the room for a debriefing:
- The objective/focus being observed
- What can be taken from the class?
- What could possibly make it better?
- Avoid any judgmental comments – This is NOT a “GOTCHA!” or “gossip session”
I highly recommend keeping the post-discussion portion of the Instructional Rounds. In the past, I have had to go participate in classroom observations, but I never had the opportunity to have the pre- and post-observation discussions. These are where your true value comes from; teachers sharing what they noticed really leads to some great discussions.
When introducing these to the teachers, I created a handbook of the basics that I wanted them to know, and we practiced giving feedback from observations using videos from the internet. I really wanted to practice giving feedback in a positive manner and used Instruction Rounds Feedback Stems with the teachers when practicing. I know it seems kind of silly, but I know what it feels like to have my feelings hurt from feedback that wasn’t exactly what one would call constructive.
Whether you mimic our Instructional Rounds as is or tweak them to make them your own, remember that the key goal is to learn from one another. This is not a “Gotcha” opportunity. You want to keep the connotation of them a positive one.