As we enter into the new school year, there are a couple of reminders I want to offer as considerations for building and district leaders. Please be planning for, and considering, your own professional learning for the school year. Part of this professional learning should center around the eWalkThrough. The “summer shift of knowledge” didn’t just happen to the students.
You know when teachers say “but I taught them that concept last year!” The same concept applies to adult learning. It has likely been at least three months since administrators have been in classrooms, either individually or collectively, to conduct observations. Calibration needs to happen to assure reliability and validity of the observation process. Many schools also made summer changes to their tool and these need to be reviewed and calibrated as well.
Don’t forget those new administrators you’ve added to your team. They need to be trained in both the content of the tool and calibrated in the process. Because the eWalkThrough has such potential as a catalyst to support excellent instruction and a positive shift in learning (Walk-Through as Powerful, n.d.), we can’t let new administrators lag behind in this knowledge and process. Plan to provide support for new administrators for at least the first 2-3 months of school and invite them to accompany you in your building on observations and offer to go with them in theirs.
Goal Setting! Another back to school process I believe ensures the quality process of implementation of the eWT. Administrators should reflect on their archived data from the 14-15 school year in setting their goals for the year. These goals can be entered into the digital eWT system under the building tab. (See Diagram below)
These cards are handed out to administrators during calibration or data analysis days with SWPRSC eWalkThrough consultants. We then input the information directly into your tool so that administrators can check on whether other observers are meeting their goals and expectations for eWalkThrough use.
This is a picture of an actual eWalkThrough Goal Chart that administrators can view anytime to see where observers are on their goals.
Good luck and have a fantastic year! Take full advantage of the eWT tool to support your teachers and student success!
Kelly's insights on classroom observation, education, leadership, teaching, and mentoring.