Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Reader Asks... Teacher to Teacher Classroom Visits

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following:


I'm about to lead / guide some teachers on some PowerWalks. Do you have a recommendation for the length of a walk-through in a single classroom?

SC Response
Taking teachers to visit other classrooms is a fantastic practice and I commend you for starting this now, at the beginning of the school year. With teachers new to the practice (classroom observations), I recommend three to five minutes per observation and do three to four observations per small group of teachers.

Have the teachers look for specific and objective elements of pedagogy. When we (LYS) facilitate these visits, we generally have the teachers look for elements of The Fundamental 5. Looking for anything beyond those practices can quickly become overwhelming to a first time observer.

Debrief after every individual observation about what was working and if there were any “missed” opportunities.  That way when the teachers return to their classrooms they have a mental picture of something positive they can use (hopefully immediately) and a “look for” to add or avoid that can make them even more effective.

Finally, I would keep the group small, the lead observer and no more than four others.  This will keep the overall distraction to the observed classroom at the “mild roar” level.

Hope this helps and good luck! And if you need any help in expanding the practice, don’t forget that we (LYS) offer training and support specifically designed to meet this need.

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on! 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: Illinois ASCD Fall Conference (Multiple Presentations), Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association Fall AP Conference, The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Multiple Presentations); American Association of School Administrators Conference; National Association of Secondary School Principals Conference (Multiple Presentations) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

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