A Reflection on my First Day of Observation Meetings

In my last post, I described how I plan to use mini-observations and scheduled observation meetings this year as I learn to be an instructional leader. Today was my first day of observation meetings… and I loved it!

As I was talking to my five-year-old son tonight, he commented that he would be scared if he had to visit his principal, and he wondered if the teachers at my school were scared if they had to visit me. That’s a really weird thought for me. I hope everyone at my school feels comfortable visiting with me, but my son may be right. I wish that weren’t the case.

  • I’m hoping regular meetings will ease those fears.
  • I’m hoping I develop strong relationships that will ease any fears.
  • I’m hoping that everyone in our building sees my goal– to be the best we can be every day.

So today we began the meeting process, and I met with five teachers for 30+ minutes each. (Five conferences in one day to discuss goals, growth, and teaching! I can’t remember having five of those conversations with a principal during my first 10 years of teaching!) In my opinion, the meetings couldn’t have gone better. Our meetings followed this structure:

  • Teachers shared positive things from the year so far.
  • Teachers shared any concerns or needs they have.
  • We discussed the mini-observation process and showed my observation documentation system and how it works.
  • We discussed the observation notes I’ve already gathered through mini-observations.
  • We reviewed the three school-wide instructional goals for the year (writing effective objectives, student engagement, and appropriate and effective student technology use).
  • We identified 3-5 individual PD goals I can help each teacher reach. Essentially, these are some of the key things I’ll look for during a mini-observation in addition to the school-wide goals.
  • Finally, we went over the teacher evaluation rubric. Teachers assessed themselves with the rubric prior to coming to the meeting. We will re-evaluate in December and in May.

This won’t be a typical observation meeting, but it was a great first one. I feel like we got a lot accomplished and we’re heading in the right direction. In our second observation meeting, we’ll be able to have deeper discussions about effective lesson planning and analyzing assessments.

I have seven observation meetings scheduled for Thursday. I can’t wait!

But I will admit that I was pretty tired by the end of the day; however, this is the work.