Useful Information Regarding School Based Instructional Rounds

By Lisa Snyder

Service delivery is an activity that is supposed to evolve and improve regularly. It is for this reason that many stakeholders in various sectors take part in activities that are aimed at increasing their understanding of ways of bettering service delivery. In schools, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders use instructional rounds to better understand the teaching and learning processes in schools with the aim of improving upon them. This is worth knowing about School based instructional rounds.

As a process, instructional rounds start with a team of teachers to participate being formed. Usually, the size of the group ranges from 20 to 40 people. These people go ahead to visit classrooms during session to see how the learning and teaching process is going on. Depending on what is observed by the group, every person makes notes on the learning process and the entire experience.

Usually, there is a lead teacher in the group who is in charge of leading the group. The lead teacher should be someone who is exceptional at their work. The rest of the teachers are expected to respect the person and view them as professionals. The lead teacher might be selected basing on their earlier achievements in terms of educating learners.

The role of a lead teacher can also be assumed by an instructional coach or administrators. One very important aspect of instructional rounds is that they are not aimed at evaluating the teacher that is being observed as they teach. In fact, no feedback is supposed to be provided about the teacher, unless the teacher requests to hear the opinion of the observers about their teaching style.

Teachers are supposed to be made aware of the objective of the instructional rounds as assessing the teaching and learning process as a whole and not them. The reason why this is important is that it casts away anxiety in teachers associated when they think that they are being watched. This helps them conduct themselves as they would normally. As a matter of fact, the rounds encourage teachers to offer their classes for the assessments.

If the rounds are aimed at evaluating the teacher, the teachers are most likely to change their way of teaching. As a result, there might be a false reflection of how the process of teaching and learning in the school happens. Therefore, any alterations done on the process of teaching and learning may not be useful due to wrong priorities by those involved.

On the day that the rounds are scheduled to take place, it is important that the teacher whose class will be observed be notified. The teacher should in turn notify their students regarding the same. This helps to ease tension among the teachers and students. Also, it helps to ensure that minimum disturbance is caused to the learning process.

The observation team should knock on the door before entering when they arrive. When entering, they are supposed to proceed to a suitable spot such as the back of the classroom that would not disrupt the flow of the teaching process. Usually, rounds take 10 to 15 minutes and the observers should have made adequate observation to assist in decision making and instituting necessary changes.

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