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Learning walks feedback

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by cactusqueen, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. cactusqueen

    cactusqueen New commenter

    We are currently in a whole school learning walk window. This means I have been watched 4 times this week, for about 10-15 minutes each time. I have no problem with this, anyone can come in my room. But today all 4 feedback sheets came back and they all now conflict each other leaving me in some sort of black hole.
    Feedback 1 (middle of lesson)- loved seeing students working independently and in small groups but would like to see me teach as a whole group for plenary.
    Feedback 2 (start of lesson) loved seeing me use questioning as whole group but would like to see small group work.
    Feedback 3 (end) loved seeing use of STAR for marking but would like me to be clearer on which tasks were higher/low
    Feedback 4 (middle) loved marking and clear grading but would like to see more evidence of STAR.
    I feel if any of these teachers had seen a different slot of the lesson or spent a little longer looking, they would all have written an opposite comment.
    It makes me wish back to the days of whole lesson observations. At least, then they watched it all, not just a snap shot.

    Has anyone else had this issue? With ridiculous feedback that just seems like its lip service and pointless for everyone involved
    AlwaysAdaptable and ajrowing like this.
  2. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    It's a farce! Just carry on as you are but keep your feedback sheets. If anyone follows up later and asks about what changes you've made just highlight the contradictory comments you've had leaving you none the wiser about what you should do. Otherwise, if you can remember who has written what on your feedback, the next tine they appear change your lesson to include or highlight the bit they mentioned.

    It would be the height of delicious irony if in one observation they picked you up for not doing something and then in the next they picked you up for doing it.
    ajrowing, minnie me, steely1 and 2 others like this.
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Photocopy the sheets and send a full set to each of the observers.
  4. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    File the sheets, make sure you have a name and date on each one, and then carry on doing whatever you are doing at the moment...
  5. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    I am so glad I have retired!
    install, mswisdom, minnie me and 11 others like this.
  6. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    So the learning walks team can randomly walk into any lessons for a period of 10-15 minutes a time expecting a variety of teaching styles. From that I can surmise they are bunch of di@kh$ads and that the person who has instigated this is a clueless co£kw%mbl£.
  7. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Presumably these are all the observations you will have this year? It all sounds rather heavy handed to me...
  8. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    I don't really agree with this 'I'm fine for you to come in at any time!' Line a lot of teachers churn out. Would SLT be fine if we came to see if they were doing their job properly at any random time? What if SLT were sat around drinking coffee when you popped in?

    Obviously if SLT want to come into your lesson then that's their prerogative but don't then as a none specialist who's popped into a clearly challenging class on a Friday afternoon give some patronising feedback such as 'have you tried group work or mini whiteboards!? It will change your entire learning.'

    This reminds me of my final observation in my last state school (now in independent) where the SLT decided to come and see the same class twice in the same week to see if progress was made over 2 lessons. I got picked with my set 8 (yes 8) year 7s who were known to be the weakest ever class - barely able to string sentences together in their writing.

    The first time the SLT member watched her feedback was 'give them handouts of the lesson so they can have it on their desks to follow'

    So I did that for the second lesson obviously. Play the game etc.

    Second observation my feedback was 'they were a bit overwhelmed with all the paper on their desks.'

    I kid you not. I had already got a new job at that point so I smiled and said I'll take it on board.
    mswisdom, ajrowing, steely1 and 8 others like this.
  9. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    This sounds like a ludicrous way of giving teachers feedback. I think lesson ‘drop ins’ can be a good way for SMT to get a quick overview of learning and teaching.

    However, I think full lesson observations (‘deep dives’ as we call than at my place) are much more effective in terms of actually getting to the bottom of what is going on in a particular department.

    Feedback based on a 15 minute session is never going to be very effective.
  10. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    Come on @GreenTrees123 , you're one of the ones meant to be on top of the meaningless waffle; a "deep dive" is the intense scrutiny focussed on one particular department, not one lesson.
  11. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    What a pity that there is this culture of constantly setting targets to improve.
    Sometimes it really is OK just to say - 'well done, keep up the good work'
    tenpast7, ajrowing, steely1 and 7 others like this.
  12. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    I understand your point but I think it's indicative of how supportive an environment could be. Ideally, SLT would be fine with staff popping in to see them at random times. Whilst they may be busy at times, insisting on making an appointment just for the sake of it smells of a power hungry, self serving...
    And I'd love it if I "popped" in to see SLT and they were drinking coffee. Not to boast/gloat/feel superior or to get one over them, but because it would reinforce the simple point that we're all humans and it's okay to take a breather at times.
  13. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    Our full lesson observations all take place in one department at a time, alongside an evaluation of that department as a whole.
  14. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    I visited a school where the deputy head taking me around told me as a rule he did not observe other members of staff teaching as his default position was to trust them and treat them as professionals. But then he is clearly very well liked and respected by the staff/pupils and his school is one of the most successful in the North West.
  15. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    After my 33 years teaching the word improvement came to mean 'do something different' so the impression of improvement and 'moving forward' can be sustained but in the end it's just a load of old bo**ocks.
  16. install

    install Star commenter

    Are those doing the Learning Walks 'specialised teachers' in your subject? Or are they looking to look good by being critical without a need to be - as in an Ofsted style approach?
    ajrowing and BetterNow like this.
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If our Head's door is open, then we are free to just pop in. If closed, it's courteous to knock. The DH's door is always open, but he may or may not be there. If they happen to be sitting drinking coffee, then they tend to offer one to whoever has interrupted. But, like you, I am in the independent sector.
    Both head and deputy 'popped in' today, not together. The head joined in the pretence that he had gobbled up a couple of my class (3 year olds!) at breaktime and apologised, expressing surprise that they suddenly appeared from a large cardboard box. The deputy admired some new furniture and praised a particularly tricky child who was standing up and sharing his work at the time (6 and 7 year olds). Feedback from the head was 'that was fun, your class are so self confident' and from the deputy was 'well done, X doesn't often behave well enough to achieve...let alone feel confident enough to share'.
    I am very, very lucky!
    ajrowing, Pomza, strawbs and 12 others like this.
  18. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    How much pointless extra work for teachers as been caused by the management's delusion that different is necessarily better.

    @caterpillartobutterfly : You are very lucky in your SMT. The reaction of most teachers at my last school to the SMT turning up unannounced was to feel a sudden tightening of the sphincter!
    tenpast7, ajrowing, Curae and 3 others like this.
  19. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    A school I have supplied in quite a lot recently has an open door policy. Classroom doors have to be wedged open when teaching. No walk in required, anyone walking past can see/hear how it is going.
    BetterNow, install and GreenTrees123 like this.
  20. cactusqueen

    cactusqueen New commenter

    Oh the whole thing is ludicrous and to be honest I’m lucky that I take it all with a pinch of salt. As I know the school are chasing their tails about evidence for inspection.
    I think the issue I have is that now a days everything has to have an improvement and nothing can just be ‘Well done, that was really good’.
    We all have to do it to the children all the time with www and ebi. Why can’t they just be told ‘well done, that was really good’. We have to create a target for improvement all the time and sometimes there just isn’t one needed. Not saying my lessons are perfect but please just say ‘cheers, that was good’.

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