January 28, 2013 by sz
So before we launch into this new era of Instructional Rounds, I want to make one thing perfectly clear:
Don’t fear the facilitator!
Nor should you fear the process. From the origins of IR at FVHS it was made perfectly clear that the process was to be co-creative and those involved since the early days have worked very hard to keep the process teacher-driven and teacher-focused. It makes sense because that’s where instruction begins: with the teacher.
A book that I’ll be referring to occasionally, Instructional Rounds in Education, puts it this way:
If rounds is going to lead to changes in teaching and learning, it cannot be another initiative, activity, or program imposed on…teachers. The power of rounds will only be realized when and if rounds becomes embedded in the actual work of the [school]. *emphasis mine
That’s my role and my goal: to embed a culture of sharing, trading, discussing and stealing (explained in my previous post) effective instructional strategies into our work at Fountain Valley High School. I believe we’re well on our way and I believe we can get there and that’s why I threw my hat into the facilitator ring. All the colleagues I’ve spoken with about Rounds (admittedly, not everyone) has been positive and supportive of the process. For that, I’m grateful. And I’m hopeful more of you will find value in participating in this culture.
The first step I’d like to take is to plumb the deep resources of effective instruction. Our own classrooms. This link is a brief questionnaire that I invite you to fill out. It asks which of your instructional or procedural strategies are you willing to share with others and which strategies you’d like to observe in other classrooms. No one will have access to this document. I’ll just be using it to organize more focused Instructional Rounds. Ideally, this will help put you in touch with a colleague who shares instructional ideas and concerns with you.
Imagine how much it’ll mean to our students to see us pairing, sharing, and collaborating!