Simplifying Classroom Observations

Last week I was having a conversation with my principal. We were talking about the idea of teachers getting out of their silos and sharing best practices with each other. Classroom observations came up in the discussion, but we bemoaned the fact that it can get complicated to organized observations – schedules, degree of comfort, etc.

Then later, I went onto Twitter and I serendipitously found a post by Michelle Taliento (@TalientoTeaches), a teacher in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. Michelle’s tweet featured a simple solution to organizing classroom observations. She posted a picture of a poster that she had put up outside her classroom:

Taliento poster
Michelle’s idea was not to get bogged down in scheduling visits. Instead, she simply made her class always open for observation. Visits would no longer be work. Anyone could just pop in when the opportunity was right. What an elegant solution.

One of my favorite parts of this idea was the inclusion in the poster of a QR code that took visitors to a Google Doc that contained space for visitors to leave feedback/comments/suggestions. I also appreciated that Michelle thought of including her teaching schedule on the poster. That way, a visitor could arrange their visit such that they could match their own availability, and see everything that happened in a class – the beginning, the middle, or the wrap up.

Immediately I stole the idea.

I created my own poster and put it out on my door the same day. Naturally, as a good guy, I tweeted Michelle to let her know. She responded with warmth and appreciation, only asking that I let her know how my version works out.

What an amazing way to build bridges with colleagues around the world!

Hopefully this concept works out and I will have awesome results to share with you later.

Take care and share!

Ed Ex!

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