The latest on eWT from Dr. Gillespie
From the CEO...
The Digital eWalkThrough® System is a research-based model for effective and efficient instructional leadership. If student success is the destination, education is the engine, and eWalkThrough® is the fuel.
Expect the eWalkThrough Fuel quarterly from Dr. Kelly Gillespie, CEO of Southwest Plains Regional Service Center. Our professional learning team is dedicated to the design of innovative solutions that will deliver the results you require for your staff and your students.
eWT Fuel - Volume 3 Number 1
Why conduct eWalkThroughs®?
Here is a partial list! This is WHY your instructional leadership matters. This is WHY your time and effort make a difference!
- High Fives! - Recognizing excellent teaching in action!
- Visible Leadership - Modeling authentic interest in the day-in-and-day-out efforts of your teachers and of students.
- Professional Learning - Capturing and analyzing eWalkThrough® data across your organization can objectively drive the design of differentiated professional learning.
- Self-Reflection & Conversation - Coaching & mentoring are now based on real-time observation--in the classroom--where expectations meet practice!
- Continuous Improvement and KESA - Objective data for decision-making, for accreditation, and for on-going excellence in a continuous improvement model are now a reality.
How to Conduct eWalkThroughs®
Best practice for eWalkThrough® centers on a 3-5 minute observation. Enter a classroom and proceed to quickly and efficiently check for the identified priorities, the look-fors on your customized eWalkThrough® tool.
The point is to simply take a snapshot of what is going on in the classroom at that moment and then exit. No interruptions. No discussion. No adjustments.
Across time these snapshots will reveal patterns. Collectively, eWalkThrough® snapshots work together to form a panoramic picture of instruction in a district or school.
eWalkThrough® observations must become routine. Ideally, eWalkThrough® observation becomes habit for the observer. eWalkThrough® observation becomes typical procedure for the teacher. eWalkThrough® observation even becomes routine for the students.
When data are regularly and consistently collected, the results will be valid and reliable. These data support instructional leaders as they, in turn, support teachers.
Unannounced and Unobtrusive
Initially, teachers and students will notice when an observer enters the classroom. Behaviors will change. Authentic actions will be compromised.
eWalkThrough® observation should be unannounced and unobtrusive. Within weeks after the process is initiated, eWalkThroughs® will become more and more routine. Neither teachers, nor students will notice that an observation is being conducted. This is eWalkThrough® at its best.
Structure and Focus
Of utmost importance is an eWalkThrough® environment in which all parties are on the same page. With clarity comes confidence. Instructional leaders gain respect and teachers are well served when eWalkThrough® is focused on district priorities and when that focus is transparent.
Black and White
eWalkThrough® observation should be objective. The observer marks the data point as either observed or not observed. There is minimal debate and minimal guesswork. The look-for is visible in the classroom or not.
The digital eWalkThrough® system must embody the true meaning of observation, not evaluation. eWalkThrough® observation is about supporting teachers. It is about giving a teacher a "high-five!" It is about nurturing excellent teaching. It is not about "gotcha!"