Sunday, 16 September 2012

Instructional Rounds - Part Three

This is the final post in a three-part post. Here is Part One and Part Two.

Part Three - Next Level of Work... 

At our team's debrief meeting, we were able to identify two focus points for our Next Level of Work, which is where Instructional Rounds shifts gears from being a professional learning experience for the teachers involved, to become a school improvement tool that affects all teachers and our collective practice as a team of teachers. A phrase I found myself using a lot was, "it's about us as a school, not me as a teacher... "
The two focus points I wanted to discuss further with staff were borne out of our team's debrief discussions about what we observed to be effective [in relation to our Problem of Practice].

The next stage in the process was how to address this Next Level of Work. I ended up running a session for our teachers that fed back to them about our experiences with this new process, before focusing in on the improvement points identified for us as a school. During this discussion, I arranged for one of our teachers who had built up a very student-centred classroom learning environment [one of our identified focus points to aspire to as a collective group of teachers], to talk about how she had worked up to this stage.
Again, I was keen to minimise any apprehension teachers may have felt about such a session, so we played a  game initially, then made sure we went through a series of 'highlights' that we observed from individual teachers. This eased a bit of the natural apprehension that can occur when you are about to hear some feedback about your professional performance!
Although not hugely significant, here are some interesting graphics that we also discussed at our Next Level of Work staff meeting, re. the sorts of words we [the observing team] were using to describe each of the three elements:
What did the teachers say / do?

What did the students say / do?

What was the task / learning experience?

This was a really positive experience for us and, in the short-term, I hope we can build some momentum with our Instructional Rounds journey by getting another group of teachers to experience the process in the near future...
Ultimately, I'd love for this process to become embedded in the way we 'do' professional learning at our school.

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