One of the perks of being an in-school administrator is the time I have for watching teachers teach and learners learn. This semester we have a terrific intern working with our senior humanities teacher, and yesterday along with grade 3 and grade 5, grade 10 history was on my rotation so I was able to spend some time with him. As I watched I noted many great attributes this intern brings to the classroom, from strong planning, to engaging teacher talk time, to a real connection with the students, however the one thing I could not see was his ability to reflect (obviously!). The questions I left him with to ponder are listed below, they were sent to him in an e-mail:
Some questions for you from my period 5 visit:
What will [the cooperating teacher] learn because he was in the room with you?
These are meant to be reflective, but if you want to talk about them I'd love to hear your thoughts, but I'll leave that up to you :)
What was so impressive was the depth of his reflection, and there is no way I could have identified this without being in his room.
Baruti Kafele, @PrincipalKafele.com, notes in The Principal 50 that, "you cannot lead from the main office. Reading e-mails and interacting with office staff have their place, but not during instructional time. During that time, your place is in the classroom, observing instruction." It is easy to fall in the trap of doing the managerial things that are always present, but one thing I've learned is that the managerial things will still be there at the end of the day....the kids won't be!
If you are not around the learning, how will you know there is learning?
As always, comments are invited.