Step 5: Share Observations with the Whole Staff

Most administrators use the observations to share walk-through findings with staff at monthly meetings. They typically do not distribute the handouts or any notes and do not identify teachers or classrooms by name.

A principal might summarize the walk-through for staff by saying something like this:

"This month each member of the administrative team visited 48 classrooms. Our approach was for each of us to visit our 24 classrooms twice. After comparing notes, we believe that the level of student engagement was high and student feedback was almost consistently positive. An area in which we seem to be struggling, however, is how to include English language learners when we use a lecture and note-taking approach to learning. Most of us are moving away from this form of teaching as a primary method. But there are times when short lectures are unavoidable. Because our demographics are changing and our students collectively speak 21 different languages, I wonder if there is a way to learn from our own expertise."

After presenting the data, the principal might pause to allow staff to consider the information, then ask, "How does what we've noticed relate to your classroom? What data do you have that support our findings? What else have you noticed? "

Rather than deciding for the staff what happens next, the principal might open up the discussion, asking: "Do we need to improve in this area? What might we do?"  The principal must, at some point, ask, "What do you think is our next step?" and be prepared to form a task force to act on the data from the walk-through.

Source: Ginsberg, M.B. (2004) “Classroom Walk-Throughs.” In L. Brown-Easton (ed.), Powerful   Designs for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: National Staff Development Council.