One of most common questions I receive is this: “Okay, after the classroom observation, where do I start in debriefing a teacher?”. For those who know me, know I’m most comfortable with simple, very direct forms of communication. It doesn’t help anyone if they don’t know what the debriefing will sound like and look like – a lack of clarity on what a debriefing will be looking like oftentimes can lead to frustration or anxiety. I would suggest sharing the following steps with the teachers prior to the debriefing so they know what to suggest and have an opportunity to reflect even prior to your meeting.

  • Step 1: Re-state the purpose of the observation and what you were looking for
  • Step 2: Ask the teacher to reflect: What did you want me to see while I was in the classroom? What had you hoped that I would see? What did it look like when the students were engaging in XYZ task? How did the student performance match/mismatch your expectations?
  • Step 3: Using your notes to begin, explain to the teacher what you saw, giving the data
  • Step 4: Provide specific “Yes!” and specific “I would like you to work on” statements, paying close attention to why you have these highlighted
  • Step 5: Ask the teacher to reflect on your notes and employ the coach as needed