Instructional Learning Walks

This year, I have been doing instructional learning walks with campus deans. Last week our Assistant Director of Secondary Math was also able to join us at one campus. In years past when I walked classes, I have simply left a sticky note of positive highlights from the class and thanked the teachers for letting us visit. At the beginning of this year, I was talking with another campus dean and in our roles as a dean and an instructional specialist, we wanted to find a way to provide more meaningful feedback beyond the sticky note for instructional coaching with non-evaluative criteria. After attending the Visible Learning Institute, I thought it would be great to also include the three questions of assessment capable learners on the form to help us be even more student centered in our feedback and learn from student voice. Below is the form we developed (and click here for the Word doc.) We decided to continue writing the sticky note of positive highlights and this form so that teachers are getting both the immediate quick feedback of a sticky note and the more in depth feedback for further reflection.

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I love that that this form helps us focus on our district goals of learning targets and success criteria while staying student centered. (At her campus, she also has teachers share individual professional goals and she added a part on the form to provide feedback for this as well…I love that idea!) These walks have been one of my favorite things to do as I get to see the inspirational things teachers and students are doing in their classrooms, and I love getting to debrief with the campus deans and/or other people I walk with. It has also been rewarding hearing the success teachers have had as they enact the feedback we provide. Lastly, the dean I created this with plans to have teachers share what they are doing in their classrooms at department meetings as a way to share, grow, and learn from each other.

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2 thoughts on “Instructional Learning Walks

  1. Hello, Thank you for sharing this form. Can you provide an example of one you have filled out? Do you find the teachers feel like you are evaluating them when you come in with this form as opposed to the sticky-note format you had used prior?
    Thanks again

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    1. Hi Amy,
      Unfortunately all my examples filled out are up at school. If we are able to get back in soon, I will definitely share one with you! I was worried about being perceived as an evaluator as well, but I think three things have helped: 1. I don’t think I mentioned this in the post, but I should have (going back to edit now)…I actually leave a sticky note and this form. That way teachers have immediate positive feedback on the sticky and then this form as well. I don’t keep the form for that reason that I don’t want them to think I’m giving it to anyone or using it for anything beyond feedback to them. I also try to stay during passing period to quickly go over what I wrote (I don’t want to take teacher’s time, but I think it helps ease any nerves and know it’s not meant to be evaluative). And then finally, Diane Sweeney is one person I have read a lot from and think she has some really great ways of making feedback student centered rather than teacher, so I try to write in that way. Hope that helps!

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About ashleytaplin

I am a secondary math specialist in Texas. I taught for 8 years before becoming a specialist in 2017. I graduated in 2009 with my Bachelors in Arts in mathematics from Trinity University. In 2010, I graduated with my Masters in Arts in teaching also from Trinity. In the summer of 2013, I traveled on a Fulbright scholarship to Germany and learned a lot about curriculum, diversity, and differentiation. I love empowering teachers to build on their strengths and helping students make connections to what they're learning. When I’m not working, you’ll find me with my two boys and my husband who is a teacher and coach. We love exploring the city and enjoying foods.