Three minutes add up

Posted on Sep 19, 2014 by Alicia Levitt - Best Practices

What can you see in a three-minute visit to a classroom? You might say not too much. But teachers and students speak volumes in other ways, and that's why The Lutheran Schools Partnership supports classroom walk-throughs, or CWTs, for short. The purpose of CWTs is to collect information on the environment and instructional strategies in a classroom. This information is shared with the teacher and stored in a larger database. One CWT doesn't provide a teacher or school with much significant information. But over the course of a school year, an observer can conduct 10 to 15 CWTs on each teacher in a building. As the amount of data increases, so does the likelihood that this information is truly reflective.So what kind of data can a person collect in a few minutes? We document what the teacher and students are doing. We determine what kinds of instructional strategies and tools the teacher is using. We observe the type of work students are engaging in. We listen to the tone of both teachers and students. The data should never be used in a punitive way, and only to support teacher efforts in ongoing improvement.Teachers use this information to determine personal- and professional-growth goals. Administrators examine trends and set overall school-improvement goals. TLSP currently assists with classroom walk-throughs in five of our buildings. We look forward to partnering with additional schools in the future if they determine this would be helpful to them. And we commend all our schools as they strive for better ways to witness and share the Gospel.