Principal Observations

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by NCP, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. NCP

    NCP Comrade

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    Sep 20, 2005

    Miss W's post got me thinking, does your principal observe or do walk throughs often? How frequent does this happen at your school. I am not on cycle for evaluation this year. We are four weeks into school, and he has not come into my class once. Is this common? Does your principal walk through your rooms often even when you are not being formally evaluated? Thanks.
     
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  3. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I think it depends on the size of the school and just the principal him/herself! Where I student taught, it was a brand new school and the building was huge. The principal used to be at a much smaller school and apparently used to walk through people's rooms all the time to see what was going on and just be visible to the faculty and students. Now, at the larger school, she feels as though she hardly ever makes if off of the first floor and never gets to visit anyone.
    On the other hand, I was told a story about one principal (in a small school) who would arrive every morning with his coffee and his newspaper, go into his office, shut the door, and not come out basically for the rest of the day unless it was absolutely necessary. So, like I said, I think it all depends.
     
  4. teach2004

    teach2004 Companion

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    I work at a fairly large district. The building principals, vice principals, and coaches are required to do 20 classroom walk-throughs a month. That is 80 altogether for my building (1st & 2nd). There are 25 teachers. There is someone doing a walk-through in my room about once or twice a week. The superintendent, assistant super., curriculum coord., etc. also have to do 20 a month. They have 7 campuses to visit, but they are supposed to all make it into every classroom this year. I also have my observations because I am a new teacher from my mentor, math & literacy coaches, assistant principal, and principal. Basically, there is someone in my room all of the time. My kids don't even look when my door opens, because people just walk in all of the time. I guess that is a good thing, though. Maybe my state observation (Pathwise - Praxis III) will go well. Oh, the classroom walk-throughs are 4 minute observations. They are not formal observations.
     
  5. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I'm at a small district (one elementary) and we have a mentor the first three years that do evaluations pretty regularly. Our principal and vice-principal as well as superintendent and visitors from the state department of ed can show up anytime. I think it's good because it makes everyone in our bldg more accountable.
     
  6. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Sep 21, 2005

    our administration returned from a workshop and we are going to be implementing an informal observation. She will wear a paper camera on her neck and will be in to 'take a picture' of what is going on. She is to offer suggestions on what she liked or disliked. She is also looking to find clear directions on the BOARD of what the day activities are. The child should know what we are doing and why... It is NOT a evaluation but meant to be more for professional growth. To make the administration more alert to what is going on in the classrooms. Not just the teacher newsletters!
     
  7. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Sep 21, 2005

    Our principal is required to do 20 classroom walk-ins each week! That means she will be in our classes about every other week. She also has the 3 recorded observations (2 informal, 1 formal). Our literacy coach also has to do an observation on us every 9 weeks, and our curriculum director has to do some observations (I'm not sure how many). The superintendent also does observations, but it's rare for him to observe at the elementary schools.
    teach2004-Your Praxis III observation will go fine. Just practice with your mentor.
     
  8. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    We get observed every 3 years if we have been here 3 or more years and our principal is rarely in our rooms. She does a wonderful job, but feels it creates a greater disturbance to the learning environment if she just pops in whenever. I wouldn't mind her coming through more, but it's not a big deal since we get support whenever we need it from her and she's doing her job well. We're all afraid of when she'll leave!!!
     
  9. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Wow! Three years seems like a long period of time.
     
  10. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    I guess the paper camera with the walk thrus is a state thing (I'm in Fl too). I had no idea why she as wearing that paper camera until one of us asked her lol. I am not certain what they are looking for in our walk thrus. At one time they said word walls, and then there was much discussion about what constituted a word wall and then we heard no more about it, then we heard they were looking for state standards in the lesson plans, but this last time, she didn't even look at my lesson plans. We get no feedback from the walkthrus. They tell us that they are not evaluating, but I don't think anyone believes that!! ;-) They plan to do walk thru...oh and they are not called walk thrus anymore, ..darn, i can't recall what they are called now...some wonderful state thought up word to make it more complicated lol.
    Pam
     
  11. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Sep 21, 2005

    At my last school my principal NEVER came into the classroom. Occasionally the vice principal came in. They spent more time in the teacher's room drinking coffee and on the computer it wasn't funny.
    Now at my new school I am being observed next week and the principal has dropped in about 3 times so far.
     
  12. dee

    dee Companion

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    Sep 21, 2005

    My principal and reading coach have both been in for informal observations (pop ins) on more than one occassion so far this year. I am used to observations, last year I was observed by principal several times, mentor several times, instructional specialists, and I was in a alternate certification program that I had to be observed twice in conjuction with the program. I am usually on task when they pop in, so pop ins do not bother me.
     
  13. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    Well my school is very very small...only 2 teachers per grade. The principal also eats lunch with us at least 3 times a week and although she's not in our rooms a lot she knows what's going on. If you are in your probationary term it's 3 times a year. After that you go into the rotation like I said and it's usually 1 time every 3rd year. However if she feels she needs to see you for whatever reason it could be sooner.
     
  14. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    Last year our principal only came into your classroom to observe non-tenured teachers or to ask you a question. This year he has 2-3 "office days" a week and 2-3 "Observation Days" a week. He is out and about in the classroom doing informal observations. The only thing is if you need to talk to the principal, you need to make an appointment. He will not even answer his emails on his observation days. We almost have to pray that nothing happens on his observation days, because he will not help us! We are not sure of how long this will last. He is very ADHD (he even admits it) and has a hard time staying focused on anything too long, especially in the Kindergarten Classroom :)
    Our principal has also started to listen through the intercom system into rooms to spy on the teachers. Not like we have anything to worry about, but at least the kids should be able to see him!
     
  15. NCP

    NCP Comrade

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    Sep 21, 2005

    Thank you for all your feedback. I am having some issues with my principal, and this is the first year I am off evaluation and just wondered if it was "normal" to not be observed at all, or if the lack of observations was because of the other issues. I am finding out some interesting things at school, which lead me to think it is a combination. I have a meeting with him on Friday to discuss my concerns.
     
  16. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    Sep 21, 2005

    I would love to have my principal come into my classroom at times other when when I request he does! You guys are really lucky, most of the time my kids do not know who the principal is!
     
  17. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    Sep 22, 2005


    Ok, I am curious. Why would you WANT your boss to come in and check up on you more often? Every time one of our administrators makes 'the rounds' it likely means that we are going to get some new rule that we all must do...we tend to get a lot of "thou shalts'. I'd rather they just let me do my thing. Guess it depends on the administration.

    Pam
     
  18. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    Sep 22, 2005

    It's mostly for the kids sake. Like I said he is seen so seldom they don't know who he is. Also, we get the "thou shalt nots" even though he has know clue what is happening in the rooms. There are a few teachers who need some thou shalt nots! ;)
     
  19. chmcallister

    chmcallister Rookie

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