Congratulations on completing the first phase of the Instructional Leadership Challenge!
Visiting #EveryClassroom is a great way to be visible in your school, break the ice with teachers and students, and break old patterns of avoiding certain teachers and classrooms.
Important: if you know you visited every teacher, but didn't keep track of the order, now is the time to refer to your staff roster and make sure you got around to everyone.
It's also a great time to set up the ILC Notecard System:
- Get a stack of notecards
- Write one teacher's name on each notecard
- Put the notecards in the order you visited them (or in your ideal order, e.g. by location, grade, department, etc.)
- Once you decide on an order, stick with this same order for each cycle
- Give the stack to your secretary, and have each teacher's prep time written on the cards so you can easily plan your follow-up conversations
- Each day, have your secretary give you the top 3 cards from the stack. Visit these teachers ASAP.
- After you've visited a teacher, place their card on the bottom of the stack
- If a teacher is absent, return their card to the top of the stack so you can try again tomorrow
Now, here's your next challenge...
The #BeyondVisibility Challenge
In the #BeyondVisibility Challenge, your goal is to do more than make an appearance.
You'll visit each teacher again, but instead of just showing up for the sake of visibility, you're visiting to pay attention...
To NOTICE teachers, students, and what they're up to.
This gives you valuable information, and it also sends a powerful message...
The message that you value the work taking place in classrooms...
...and that you're paying attention to it.
So grab your notecards or staff roster...and get into classrooms again!
This time, stay a little longer—five or ten minutes.
If you're following along with my book Now We're Talking! 21 Days to High-Performance Instructional Leadership, you might want to review Chapter 4.
Don't worry about documentation or feedback at this stage—focus on paying attention, and say something positive about what you noticed.
Making your comments evidence-based—even though you want to keep it positive, it's essential to start to set the expectation that your visits will be focusing on evidence of teacher practice.
That's it for now—get out there and get into classrooms!
Director, The Principal Center