Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Some Suggestions For Those Who Visit Classrooms

In these times of change and ever-increasing accountability, many teachers have adult visitors in their classrooms on a regular or semi-regular basis. Usually, (at our campus) they are educators from other schools who have "dropped by" our junior high school in order to see what, if anything, they can learn from our program. Sometimes their visits are discrete and low-key, and other times they border on the raucously disruptive.

Ms. Frizzle is a practicing classroom teacher that works in New York City's Bronx. We always enjoy visiting her site, as the writing at her site is both entertaining and informative. Yesterday, after a few folks visited her classroom, she discussed the visitors' impact upon her classroom's learning environment and then published a set of outstanding common-sense guidelines that should be very helpful for those that would visit a "working" classroom. There are nine suggestions; here is a taste:

  • Generally, no more than two people should observe in a classroom at one time, and one would be best.
  • If you have something to say to your colleagues, wait until you leave the room.
  • Don't come in and out - come in once, stay for however long you need to, then leave. Be discreet in how you open and close the door and how you move around the room.

If you are an educator (or other person) that visits active classrooms, please consider dropping by her site and taking a look at these guidelines. According to Ms. Frizzle, the best type of visitation should be approached like this:

Think "fly on the wall," not "elephant in the bazaar."

We concur with that.

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