The Classroom Observation can be the single most important empirical program directing the School Improvement agenda. While it sounds like a simple process, in our work with school districts around the country, we see differences on a number of key aspects:
• What am I supposed to be observing?
• How is this information going to be used?
• Is my presence as an observer changing the dynamics of the classroom experience?
• Am I assessing the teacher, the students, the facility, the curriculum, or what?
• Who made up these questions?
• Isn’t every administrator going to see the classroom differently?
• Is there an easier way?
Without clear goals/guidelines to drive the Classroom Observation, many school districts are getting little value from this critical process – while some are ignoring it completely because of the confusion.
iCOR communicates across many different views so we try to bring these perspectives into focus with three basic rules for Classroom Observation:
1. Classroom observation should drive School Improvement
2. The purpose of the Classroom Observation must be clearly communicated at all levels
3. Classroom observation data is the keystone to your School District’s success – USE IT!
Of course every school district is different and faces unique challenges. But building your Classroom Observation program on these simple rules will ensure improvement in your Districts’ education experience.
In future posts, we will explore the “why” and “how” of creating, capturing, and integrating this Classroom Observation data into the School District’s Improvement programs. The thread that will run through all of these discussions is the need to make the process clear and simple.