Saturday, March 24, 2018

Classroom Visits: Lessons Learned

This week, I've had the opportunity to visit the classrooms of two amazing teachers, which has left me reflecting on my own practice. The classes were totally different - elementary literacy and middle school math - but there were some common traits. Here are three quick takeaways from my visits.

Side note: I love getting out in other classrooms now, and it makes me wish I could have done this more when I was teaching kids everyday - it is so inspirational and pushes me to grow!

1. Be intentional

One trait that both of these teachers shared is that they were intentional in the way they planned and used their lesson time. It was evident that they had put a lot of thought into what they were going to do that day and that they had prepared all of the materials ahead of time. Equally as important, they were intentional in the time that the students were there, checking in with them, explaining and clarifying, and not letting a minute go to waste!

2. Don't aim for perfection, aim for growth

Another thing that impressed me about these teachers was their growth mindset. They were willing to try new things and didn't get discouraged when everything didn't go perfectly the first time. They were reflective and looking for ways to improve and grow, but fear did not hold them back from trying something new.

3. Collaborate

Both of these teachers are excellent collaborators, and it was clear that they had not developed their classrooms in isolation. They were open, looking for new ideas, and happy to share what they are using. They are much more concerned about student learning (everywhere, not just in their classroom) than they are about their own ego!

Do you ever get to observe others? What sticks out to you when you go into other classrooms?

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