Monday, January 9, 2017

Who is up for the #ObserveMe challenge?

Principal ponderings...
I am excited to talk about this movement that has been showing up on classroom doors all over the country!  If you are on Twitter, you may have stumbled across people posting and talking about #ObserveMe.  If you are not on Twitter (what are you waiting for!?), then let me tell you about what this movement is all about.  Actually, first take 5 minutes to watch this video clip...
I love the idea of teachers actively seeking feedback from their peers.  Thinking about what they want to focus on or an area they want to improve upon, then taking a chance and inviting peers into their classrooms to see them in action!

I came across this post on Twitter recently and it made me stop and think:
This is certainly a new way to look at how best to give feedback to teachers.  How can I create conditions at our school where teachers can improve themselves?  I think one way to do this is to consider trying out components of the #ObserveMe movement.  What if teachers felt empowered to post signs stating areas that they are seeking feedback on?  I know not everyone likes having people come in and observe them.  But if you will take a chance and be a little vulnerable, imagine the possibilities.  One of the components of universal design for learning is mastery oriented feedback.  By posting a sign that spells out what you want feedback on, you would be laying the groundwork for teachers and administrators to give you mastery oriented that you determined, feedback that you were asking for.

Different staff are always coming in and out of your classroom.  Whether it is someone purposefully observing you or whether it is someone coming into work with a student, why not share what you are working on?  Post some goals and seek out feedback.  Here are some examples of signs that teachers across the country have been posting outside of their classrooms...
You can see that people are posting a variety of goals letting people know what they are focusing on.  Some teachers are asking people to fill out forms or follow a QR code to a survey.  You could certainly do that, but you don't need to.  By simply starting with posting what you want people to observe, you are literally opening the door to receiving more mastery oriented feedback from a variety of staff.  And you are helping yourself to improve your practice and continue growing.

So...who is up for the #ObserveMe challenge?!

Currently reading:
I am working on getting into The War That Saved My Life.  I started it and then it sat on my dresser for a while so this weekend I picked it back up.  I am also hoping to dive into Innovator's Mindset.  I have heard great things about this book from my PLN, and I know I need to read it!
And in keeping with my one word for this year, create, I have been flipping through a book I ordered called The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Notetaking.  I love the thought of turning your notes into pictures and words so I thought this would be a helpful book. 

Events this week:
Monday - K ELA session at SU in the am, 1st grade ELA session at SU in the pm
Tuesday - 2nd grade ELA session at SU in the am, 4th grade ELA session at SU in the pm, School Council Meeting @ 3:30, 4th graders doing pledge at School Committee Meeting @ 7:00
Wednesday - Workout Wednesday! PBIS Meeting @ 8:30, Superintendent Search Forum for Admin @ 11:30, Prescott, 4th grade chorus practice @ 2:25, Superintendent Search Forum for Teachers and Staff 3:30-4:15 @ High School Black Box Theater
Thursday - Student Council Meeting @ 8:15, 3rd grade ELA session at SU in the am, Liz meeting with Commissioner Chester @ 10:00 in Marlborough,
Friday - Elementary only half day, 12:15 dismissal

Great things I noticed last week:

  • I enjoyed listening to these 1st grade partners talk about whether certain book reviews were good or if they gave away too much information in the review. 
  • I also enjoyed popping into Mrs. Lanctot's class to hear them start to listen to a book about growth mindset. 
  • Have you seen the awesome new PE bulletin board that Mrs. Kinneen put up?  She had 4th graders from Mrs. Mills' class help her with words of encouragement. 
  • These two 3rd graders were sent to my office for their great behavior!  They were recognized for always exhibiting SPARK behavior. 

Check it out:
Here is the website of the teacher who started the #ObserveMe movement:
And this is a 30 minute interview with him:
You can also follow the hashtag #ObserveMe on Twitter and you will see how this conversation about improving ways to improve practice is being discussed across the country.

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