Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Superintendent Writes... PowerWalks and the Redesign Campus

A LYS Superintendent shares the following:

LYS Nation,

I have always agreed with Cain that walk-thru's generate coaching data, until now.  

Cain uses many analogies when explaining the classroom observation process, and the one that is generally most fitting is that of a golf coach.  A golf coach must watch many swings in order to coach a golfer to improvement.  PowerWalks, in theory, works the same way. The observer must visit the classroom multiple times to collect enough data to actually provide useful support.  

Here is where the analogy breaks down: What if the person being coached has never held a golf club?  I certainly don't need to see 10 swings.  I shift at this point from coaching to teaching, starting from square one.

In my current district we have many, many teachers who don't even have the fundamentals of teaching down.  So as we are doing walk-thru's we are seeing an immediate need to "teach teaching to teachers".  

The neat thing is PowerWalks is flexible enough that it can be used for coaching data for those who are pretty good and teaching data for those who are on step one.

SC Response
And I agree. But...

The power is always in the coaching conversation. I see an issue in a classroom that has to be addressed immediately, then address it, by talking to the teacher, or even better, showing the teacher.  That is how you coach for performance. 

On the other hand, noticing an issue and then sending a pointed email or leaving a marked-up observation form in the teacher’s box is neither coaching nor leading. That would be lazy and/or cowardly managerial practice.

I know that you know the difference.  Just clarifying for those who haven’t had to deal with the situation you described above.   

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: 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) 
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