The ASOT Reflection

Region 9 High Reliability Schools-October 2020

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What is Withitness?

"Withitness," a term coined by Jacob Kounin in 1973, refers to a teacher who is alert and aware of what is occurring in the classroom at all time (Marzano, 2017, p. 83). When we think of "withit" teachers, we often say that they have eyes in the backs of their heads. Research shows that teacher withitness is associated with a decrease in classroom disruptions (Marzano, 2019, p. 255).


For more information about what withitness is, check out these sites:


While there are lots of strategies that fall under withitness, these four are the focus of The Art and Science of Teaching:

  • Being Proactive
  • Occupying the Whole Room (physically and visually)
  • Noticing Potential Problems
  • Using a Series of Graduated Actions


Below you will find an article with 8 ways to increase your withitness, which includes many of these strategies. Take a few minutes to read the information, and then make a plan to implement one or more of the strategies in your class.


If you want to make it even more effective, plan to record yourself or have a colleague come and observe. This ASOT journey is about being reflective and working in small steps to improve our craft.

Physical Layout of the Classroom

One of the keys to withitness is physical proximity to students as one of the steps in a plan of graduated actions. However, in our current time, being too close to students is a hazard.


Considering the physical layout of the classroom under Covid restrictions will allow you to be safely near your students and to occupy the room, at least visually.


Some things to keep in mind:


  • Can you see students in all parts of the room?
  • Can you easily reach students via an easily accessible walkway or path?
  • How can you maximize student space?
  • Is there any unnecessary furniture in the room?


Below you'll find a few pictures of some creative ideas for adapting rooms to fit health restrictions as well as articles about what that might entail.

Resources by the Element

We've recently revamped this resource for you to make it even easier to use. Now, instead of seeing old newsletters with outdated information, you'll find only the information pertaining to the elements. This should help you use this resource with your colleagues, in PLC meetings, at staff meetings, etc. We will continue to add resources until all of the 43 elements are covered.

Resource: R9 HRS Site

Don't forget about our website, which you can find at bit.ly/R9HRS. There is a tab just for you as an ASOT teacher complete with files and documents that will help you reach your goals. We are constantly updating the site are especially proud of the Resources by Element document that you can find under the Resources tab (or click the document below). This is a great way to find ideas for how to implement the goal you set for yourself for next year.