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Monday, December 17, 2007

Learning walks--no stroll in the park

The new big thing this year -- Learning Walks.

The concept behind learning walks is that a group of teachers will invade another teacher's classroom, presumably while said teacher is actually conducting a lesson. This unruly mob of educators will question the students about what they are learning and what tools they have to help them. They will also examine the classroom walls for evidence of the principles of learning. Perhaps at the same time, they will check to ensure that no more than 10% of the surface area is covered by paper products.

OK, so I paint a bit of a sarcastic picture. Ideally, the mob of teachers will not be unruly. Not even a mob, even. A handful of teachers will observe another teacher in his/her own setting, to see another teacher's style and methods.

Last Monday, I was one of three lucky teachers chosen to have a group of principals and teachers from other local schools come through my classroom during a science lesson. To put it mildly, this sort of thing makes me feel very self-conscious. I think that the walk-through went well, and my principal said that the other teachers enjoyed it, but it was a pretty nerve-racking process for me.

Especially when I saw one of the other teachers (principals?) asking my lowest group of kids who normally writes for their group when Mister Teacher doesn't tell them who should write. I'm sure she felt the need to ask them this, since they were busy arguing over who was going to write, instead of actually doing the activity. Not much accountable talk coming from that group.

Tomorrow, I get to be a walkER instead of a walkEE. The third-grade teachers will be doing learning walks through the OTHER two science classrooms that were observed last Monday.

Can't wait!!

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