Jan 22nd, 2016 by Cathy Jo Nelson
I feel like Steve Anderson is like a next door neighbor. I mean seriously, he’s from North Carolina, just above my own home state. Because I’ve been so close geographically, I’ve managed to never see him in a presentation until Friday, January 15, at FETC. It’s weird to realize I had to travel so far away from the Carolina’s to finally sit in on a session. But it was so worth it.
No Time Wasted
His session, titled above the post here, wasn’t really something relevant for me. I just wanted to hear him speak. I do not have a voice to even recommend observation strategies for administrators in my teaching context. But having been married to an administrator and having all these years of experience as a teacher and school librarian, I figured I would attend anyway. I was not disappointed, and actually I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did I gain some insights about administrators, educational technology, and walk through observations, I also filed away some presentation strategies, specifically, engaging the audience through conversation and brainstorming.
Anderson shared his assignment at the district level to help administrators track “walk through” observations. He shared his story of working diligently to design the perfect walk through observation form, and then shared with his higher up how to analyze the data to empower an administrator. Using data analysis from the form, administrators could tailor leadership to the identified needs as revealed through data analysis. He was disheartened to learn the only interest was to make sure the right number of walk throughs had been done.
The result of brainstorming and conversation
The conversation then turned to redefining the principal as the lead learner. Most in this session agreed in many places a walk through is just numbers for their admin. As a group we brainstormed the true purpose of a walk through and these were some of the comments shared:
- Inspect what you expect
- Connect with kids
- Gain insights on teaching methodology
- Establish role as an instructional leaders
- Becoming familiar with instructional practices
- A walk though should be crucial in looking for bloom’s level.
- A walk through is a way to see where the PD needs to come from.
- Walk though a can tell you how effective the PD is.
- Admin have to be model users of PD
- Walkthroughs are not evaluations, they are opportunities for growth
- Coaching must be “on-going and on-growing”
Opportunity for more
I love presenters who give me as a participant a chance to be part of the body of knowledge shared and then find a way to share their material after a session. Steven Anderson provided this via Twitter. It’s not the actual presentation, but it does offer links to deeper knowledge. The session gave me a lot to think about.
— Steven W. Anderson (@web20classroom) January 15, 2016
I am appending to this post a special thanks to the South Carolina State Library and Halie Brazier for accepting my application for a funding source for travel and attendance at this conference, the Future of Education in Technology Conference. My funding is directly attributed to the Library Services and Technical Services Act and the U.S. Institute of Museums and Library Services. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to attend this professional development opportunity.