When we do a quick- walk through of classrooms we are checking on and gathering information on specifics such as:
- Is the pacing on target?
- Are we starting and ending our instruction as planned?
- Are students engaged in instruction?
- Are teachers’ lesson plan playing out as written?
- Is the instruction within a grade level looking similarly?
- Can I pick up themes and trends that will help me plan for next-steps in coaching or professional development?
- How is “business as usual” looking?
When we do a scheduled observations, we are typically looking for a teacher’s performance in a very specific area. It might be something such as, “Tara, I will be in your classroom at 10:45 am tomorrow to watch your vocabulary instruction on the new words for this week.” In this case, we are gathering information specific to a topic or area of concern and often seeing the end result of our coaching on a particular topic.
The combination of the “slice of life” drop-ins (or drive-bys as some call them!) and the scheduled, more formalized observation allows us to monitor instruction but also tailor our coaching specifically to teachers’ needs.