On a cold and rainy Saskatchewan spring day, I was once again reminded of why, rain or shine, I have the best job in the world! As an in-school administrator, one of the perks of my job is the opportunity to hang out in a variety of classrooms and be part of the students' learning. Today I was busy meeting teachers and students at the school I am transferring to next year when my phone buzzed in my pocket. Reminder: Grade 4 playground proposals today. The grade 4's have been busy learning about formal and informal writing and as a part of this, the teacher wanted them to practice formal presentations. The students have decided that they want to get a couple of new pieces of equipment for the playground, so the teacher, being as "on the ball" as she always is, decided this was a perfect opportunity to have them write and speak about something they are passionate about.
So there I stood at their classroom door, waiting as they prepped their room for the presentation. When I was invited into the room, I was met with smiling students, a comfy chair with my name on it, a mug of hot chocolate and two chocolate chip cookies (the kids know how to get to my heart). The presentations were terrific, and even though the structures they want to buy are close to $20,000, they had taken an important first step, and put the wheels of change in motion.
As administrators, I think it is so critical to make the time to be with the students as often as possible, this has to be our focus. In addition to being in the room, we need to be a part of the learning, and today was an example of why this is so important. The students have seen me in their room countless times, and they know I am always keenly interested in what they are working on. To receive this invitation told me that the fact I take this time matters to them, and as I told the kids, if it's important to you it's important to me.
When I visit a classroom I always try to follow a similar format:
To my fellow administrators, what are some of the things you look or listen for in a room during a visit? To my fellow teachers, what are some things you would love your administrators to notice when they are in your room?
As always, comments are welcome.