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Learning Walks (Observations by any other name)

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by coldmetal, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. install

    install Star commenter

    No it isn't ok. Its a form of intimidation and bullying used in some schools by some packs of smt, some of whom do not teach themselves ..:cool:
    mikecom and Tinycat1234 like this.
  2. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    If I didn't know better, I'd say you weren't taking this dilemma seriously.
  3. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    And who spell 'walking' as 'working' and 'weird' as 'wierde' . Hmph,value for money. Not.
  4. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Very wise and true. It was far more low key in the nineties and noughties, when management salaries and MATS were not headlines.
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    In my last school, observing other teachers became a status symbol, so far too many people got in on the act. As well as PM and HoD obs, SMT Learning Walks and Pop Ins, 2 i/cs, HoYs, HoPTs, etc, started to come in to lessons, 'just to get a feel of what was going on in the classroom'. Had nobody heard of Heisenberg? Every time someone comes into a classroom it's a disruption, even more so when they start wandering around looking in students' books and talking to them. On some days, three lessons out of five would have someone 'popping in'.
    Tinycat1234 likes this.
  6. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    I bet the 'power' went to their heads and they 'found' multiple faults that would have otherwise would have gone unnoticed that meant they just 'had' to be kept on the observation list... Honestly - how much money does observations waste?
  7. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Learning walks became as subtle as the SAS crashing through the windows of the Iranian embassy. Three or four of them would come in and start wandering around the room, talking to students and looking at their books, while another was demanding to see your mark books and asking you questions. All this while you were trying to teach a lesson. Particularly galling was getting feedback that criticized your lack of pace and focus, or that your students seemed distracted from their learning!

    Certainly, these people were on a 'fault-finding mission'. They had to find something to justify a return visit. I found that I was teaching lessons not so much for the benefit of the students but to accommodate whichever hobby-horse the person observing me was riding. We would get emails saying something like, "I will observing you period three, on Thursday (a couple of days time). I will be looking for use of three-dimensional card-sorts and cross-curricular links to oxbow lakes, in particular." We would have to put aside, or adapt, our planned lessons just to include those things that the observer wanted to see.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
    rolysol and EmanuelShadrack like this.
  8. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    At my college there is an observer who is not a teacher, has never taught, has no subject knowledge, has not even got a degree. Yet, they can continually find fault. Another reason for leaving.
    Tinycat1234 likes this.
  9. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    At my last school, many classroom observations were done by members of the SMT who were not teachers and never had been, such as the Exec Head and his deputy. This, they claimed, made them more impartial assessors of whether criteria had been met. The Ex. Head never tired of reminding us that, "In industry, quality controllers are not engineers, for this very reason."
  10. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    It's staggering isn't it?

    This spurious argument is often used, and it's most often used by the incompetent and insecure.

    Must dash - I'm just off to assess some intricate brain surgery, and then some meetings at NASA regarding some new rocket technology they're introducing. I have no expertise in either area, which makes me more than qualified to judge. Shouldn't take long...
    Tinycat1234 likes this.
  11. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @EmanuelShadrack: Staggering it certainly is! In my last, say, five years of teaching, when confronted with such nonsense, I often found myself wondering whether I had slipped in to 'The Twilight Zone'.
  12. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    How brilliantly put :D
  13. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Did they have suits and dark glasses on, and say things like:
    "Nice classroom you got 'ere Jolly Roger. Wouldn't want anyfing to 'appen to it now would we?"
  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

  15. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    It would have been a golden opportunity to be innovative, and play some music in the lesson. The obvious candidate would have been the theme from "The Twilight Zone" (ding ding ding ding) on endless repeat.
  16. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Learning walks = bull manure
    yodaami2 likes this.
  17. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    In jan I took up a short term contract in the school next door to the one I retired from after 21 years. I knew the HoD quite well. He was quite happy to just let me get on with it. He walked through my room twice, was content in what the kids were doing and in one pop in actually made notes about how I did a particular prac as it was so much better than how he had been doing it for 30 years!
    I set work for the days I didn't work. The HT and DHT took those lessons. They never complained about the work.
    EmanuelShadrack likes this.
  18. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    I bet the engineers are over the ****** moon about that!
    EmanuelShadrack likes this.
  19. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Yes it Starts f ends ing. Soz! My bad.
  20. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    How refreshing to read of a wise man, who was open-minded enough to change in an instant something he'd been doing for 30 years. That's the sort of boss I would respect.

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