I have a note I hung above my desk in my first year as a principal that reads - "Get into the classroom". I wrote the note while taking administrative classes at Drake University and found it when preparing to move things to CAM High School.
Something so easy to say and think becomes hard when dealing with the management side of a Principal's day. Well intended walk-through schedules get put aside as students need disciplined state reports come due and money issues need discussed.
Then getting into the classroom can take several different forms. There's the formal observations that need to be done periodically; walk through observations that take different forms; and other inventories that need data collection. Now, I'm adding something new to my list - Teaching.
This Tuesday I am going into a Physical Science classroom to deliver a technology ENHANCED lesson that will serve as a different form of review for an upcoming "test". I am still a certified science teacher who taught physical science nine years.
We're also going to contrast my lesson against my classroom teacher's traditional style as he has two sections that day and he will be teaching one, and I the next. We will video both, test both and compare results. We've analyzed the two classrooms and they are comprised of a similar cross-section of students in all areas (ability, SES, SPED, ITED scores). I may even go as far as suggesting I develop an assessment for my class and he his and have them take both.
After the science classroom I am going to look to do similar things in my other core classrooms. It will be more about infusing technology and more of a co-teaching style, but never-the-less I plan to be doing some instruction.
I have even toyed with teaching a section of a class next year so that I have practical experience to share with my staff. I feel this will boost my credibility and give me a place to try somethings I know my staff will not attempt.
Getting into the classroom - an important component of change