Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Benefits of Walking (for your mind, your body and your school)

Dr. Oz and the majority of health experts recommend walking at least 30 minutes a day to maintain good health and exercise. Classroom walk-throughs are quickly growing into an effective and practical method for administrators to get a pulse on classroom instruction. Administrators are under more stress than ever to meet demands of federal mandates and state requirements. Walk-throughs might just be a practical and effective strategy by combining mind, body and school into a healthy experience personally and professionally.

The benefits of effective classroom walk-throughs are numerous for both teachers and students. According to Downey in The Three-Minute Classroom Walk-Through, research shows enhanced teacher satisfaction, self-efficacy, and attitude and improved classroom instruction, student discipline, and school effectiveness. The overall perception of principal even improves through the walk-through process! These are all results that we would find valuable in our schools. These results will happen over time so in the meantime we can review some immediate benefits.

The more frequently you walk-through...
the more valid your data.
the more you know what is going on in your school.
the more instructional strategies you will gain and share.
the more teachers and students will see you as a visible leader.
the more consistency you will have established.
the more answers you can provide parents.
the more information you can provide to supervisors.
the more feedback you can provide to teachers.
the more instructional conversations will result.
the more ideas you will have for professional development.
the more needs you will have identified.
the more stress-free you will feel.
the more exercise you will get each day.
the more time you will save.
the more energized you will feel as a leader.

If experts recommend 30 minutes of walking per day and the average classroom walk-through takes 2-3 minutes, you can ideally observe 10 teachers in that time frame. Use a little creativity and break that 30 minutes into 10 minute chunks and make it work for your schedule. Get all administrators involved and you can easily see all teachers at least once per week. Very soon you will start seeing these results and ultimately improving your mind, body and your school!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

GaETC Conference: 2009


If you were able to attend either one of my sessions, Teach 2.0: Challenging the Interactive Generation or Classroom Walkthroughs with H.E.A.T. using iPod Touch/iPhone, I referenced several websites. These websites appear below. I look forward to your feedback.

Big Idea #1

Big Idea #2