Thursday, October 4, 2007

the woods through which we walk

Two weeks ago, two groups, clad in suits and armed with Blackberrys', entered close to 30 classrooms for "brief, non-intrusive visits" to get a snapshot of the leaning environment and instructional practices employed in our classrooms.

Initial reviews:

"A 5 minute roller-coaster ride...too long for humans." - anonymous

"Like Godzilla, times five....but wool gabardine." - anonymous

"Remember those Ring Wraiths from Lord of the Rings?" - anonymous

"Whatever its intentions, the implementation of the Learning Walkthrough left me feeling skeptical and submarined. I'd like to believe in its value; that Learning Walkthroughs can afford the opportunity for professional growth, but when it shows up on our doorsteps the day before they are to occur, what's a teacher to think? There is the need for front-loading, for planting the seeds, and for greater faculty inclusion. Instead, we witnessed intrusion. I hope the teachers that spoke at yesterday's Planning Team meeting effectively conveyed the confusion and trepidation that these Walkthroughs generated. For my small part, I'd like to believe that my impressions will make a difference as we move forward." - ken rodoff


Damian said...

OK, I'm not following - who were these visitors? Dept. of Ed. people? Independent consultants? Our favorite MiBs, Tommy Lee Jones & Will Smith?

If they were on a data-collecting expedition, what was their purpose?

Taylor said...

In my school this is the standard method of evaluating teachers 2 out of three years. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

kenrodoff said...

@damian: the group, 12 strong (5 more Ring Wraiths than normal) consisted of one hired consultant, all district principals and assistant principals, the assistant superintendent, director of curriculum, and one bamboozled teacher.

@taylor: we wait for our 'non-evaluative' process to morph into data collection and evaluation. eek-gads!

Angus said...

...because looking into a classroom for a period or two is really going to let them know what type of learning is going on. It like saying you don't need to go to see the whole movie because you've seen the trailer and couple of still shots on the movie poster.

It cracks me up every time.

Anonymous said...

I honestly had no idea what was going on. I had been threatened right before an incident had happed. The timing just happened to coincide with an empty threat.