Calling all educators.
What’s happening next door? How about in the classroom upstairs, or downstairs? What strategies are being used in the classrooms? What’s on the walls? How is it organised? What’s the lighting like? How is the physical space organised? What’s the vibe?
Every time I visit another classroom, I’m full of questions about what I see, the use of space, and other stimuli which make for excellent conversations.
Of course, there are some teachers who I know better than others, and I’m very comfortable ‘popping-in’ to say hi or to ask a quick question, during their class time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all felt comfortable going into any classroom, at any time, not to deliver a message, or to ask an opinion, but to observe what’s going on, how it’s happening, to soak up the environment.
Some educators are quite territorial and/or may be afraid of being judged in such a situation.
To them I say this; We all have moments when things are not going too well, an awkward transition, a moment when a student disrupts the flow. If someone only gets 1 ‘snapshot’ of your class all semester, they may be more likely to judge, whearas if people are coming and going all the time, it becomes normal, accepted, and fun! … and don’t forget once you open your doors to others, their doors are also open to you 🙂
The more visitors you get, there’s more chance that someone will witness one of those magic moments, and in time, with all the new ideas floating around, there will be more chance of a magic moment happening!
Also, the more often we share our classroom experiences, the more relaxed and accustomed we will become with each other’s environment.
In short, we have a wealth of professional development right in our school, literally next door. Let’s share it.
Here’s an option: Every classroom teacher does a ‘walk-about’ for 1 period per week, where they simply walk in and out of classrooms at will, staying 30 seconds, 5 mins, or 20 mins, where they observe, interact, take pics, write notes. If they adopt or adapt something from that class, credit could be given in a public forum.
The focus is on positive, not negative feedback, we’re looking for ideas to adopt or adapt.
It’s all optional, low stress, so let’s try it. Time for a walk-about 🙂