The What and How of Observing Effective Teaching
Typically, three things happen while observers are on an instructional round:
1. Affirm. Seeing other teachers engaging in the same practices you already do affirms teachers.
2. Wonder. Seeing other teachers engaging in practices different from one's own allows teachers to wonder about the possibilities.
3. Apply. Seeing other teachers' classroom and teaching methods allows teachers to apply new ideas to their own classes.
You'll see these ideas reflected in one of our observation templates below. However, schools and districts can utilize rounds to focus on school- or district-wide goals.
The key is that rounds are not evaluative in any way!
Instructional Rounds Quick Reference Guide (The How To)
Teachers can meet in the hall briefly after an observation to check in with each other about what they saw.
During the debriefing, the discussion centers on what was observed and how that affirms what teachers have already done, makes them wonder about a strategy, or gives them ideas to try.
Additionally, during the debriefing, teachers usually take a moment to thank the observed teachers for opening their classrooms to observers (either through a note or email).