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Length of learning walks

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by StarbucksCovfefe, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. StarbucksCovfefe

    StarbucksCovfefe Occasional commenter

    So....one learning walk. Three observers. All coming in separately. On a vague rotation. In essence though whole morning from 9:15-12:15.

    It in essence meant being observed for 3 hours. Which is basically worse than just one person, watching one whole lesson.

    How do your learning walks tend to happen? Putting aside slightly the fact that unions say that they should count as observations.....
     
    Alice K, Curae and agathamorse like this.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    So they each stayed for an hour?
     
  3. StarbucksCovfefe

    StarbucksCovfefe Occasional commenter

    Not completely, but in essence sort of. I guess 45 mins of each 60 had an adult in it. So perhaps they stayed like 10 mins at a time, but then the next one came in, so there was just very regularly and consistently an adult in the room for 3 hours. Or so it felt. Hard to tell. But the walk lasted that long, and was on 'alert' to the influx of regular little bursts of visits.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. Summerhols6

    Summerhols6 New commenter

    They are observations and it all seems very odd! You need to bring it up with your Line Manager first. This seems strange, even in this day and age, when teachers are all supposed to be !!!!, and can't be trusted in their classrooms! Get to the bottom of it, if you're not happy get your Union involved. If it persists like this then maybe it's time to get out of 'Dodge City', even Wyatt Earp only stayed there for a few years! I wish you well, I know what it's like without adding my plight at the moment. Good luck and follow all good advice that appears on here.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. StarbucksCovfefe

    StarbucksCovfefe Occasional commenter

    It was with our local borough.........everyone in the school had the same, if that wasn't clear, sorry.
     
  6. StarbucksCovfefe

    StarbucksCovfefe Occasional commenter

    I mean, SLT and the borough.
     
  7. Summerhols6

    Summerhols6 New commenter

    It still seems OTT! It sounds like an SLT relay race! All I will say is I hoped they learnt something wonderful that will change your school and the education system. Sady, it's more likely to have disrupted lessons, caused teachers to be stressed by the amount of observations in a day. But hey, I might be wrong and all your staff loved it and can't wait for the next multiple 'Learning Walks Day'!
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    How very disruptive.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. SEBREGIS

    SEBREGIS Senior commenter

    In my previous school, we had an absurd number of learning walks (one every two weeks). Full observation, details on a database, even things like 'your lesson did not have x in it', even if it was obvious to a total ***** that I wouldn't do that until some other point in the lesson.

    In my current school, we have - well, actually, I couldn't tell you. Either the head or my HoD wanders in, talks to the children, talks to me, joins in a bit, team teaches with me, wanders out again, and then later on tells me what they liked or what I could do a bit better. No rota, no routine, no stress. And they know precisely what I'm doing on a daily basis. So much nicer.

    But it should be three observations and no more than three hours in total. I don't think many schools do this, but its a good place to start negotiations from.
     
    erica_c_hanson and agathamorse like this.
  10. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Lead commenter

    At my last school, so many different managers were doing lesson observations, learning walks, drop-ins, etc., that not only was someone disrupting our lessons every day, it was not uncommon for these 'observations' to clash, with the or three people in the room at one time or for one lot of observers to be walking as the others were leaving. I was thinking of going a recycling dump to see if I could get a row of old cinema seats to put at the back on my laboratory, to accommodate this endless stream of observers.
     
  11. Curae

    Curae Lead commenter

    Exactly. .It is the "being on alert"that creates stress.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. Curae

    Curae Lead commenter

     
  13. Curae

    Curae Lead commenter

    Like a hole in the head !
     
  14. flyingcircusfreak

    flyingcircusfreak New commenter

    The three-hour limit referred only to observations for the purposes of performance management. Observations for other purposes have never been limited.

    And in any case, the limit only came in in 2006, and went out again in 2012!
     
    Pomza likes this.
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Just ask at the next meeting.

    Why do you do them?

    The right answer, in my mind, would be: getting a feel for behaviour, letting the kids know we're interested, letting staff know we're interested, keeping a lid on behaviour, looking at the room situation and supplies, does anything need updating, what kind of consistency do we have across the school in terms of display/behaviour-management/blah.

    Loads of stuff!

    PLUS. And this is very important. They say: we're not here to look at you individually as teachers, this doesn't go towards performance management, it's not a stick to beat you, don't worry if we don't praise you as we might easily not be looking at what you do, we're getting a general feeling and keeping ourselves updated, we don't want never to be seen, it's not about you, it's about the learners.

    They will also have to remind you that they would have to have a word with you if they were concerned about anything. That they would do this privately. No news is good news. Keep calm and carry on.

    The more they do it? The more the kids get used to it so you can't argue it disturbs the kids. We need to get used to it. Provided it's done for the reasons I have given and in the manner I describe.

    Nobody ought to panic. Everyone ought to be welcome. Come and join in.

    But, at tutor time and PSCHE, I think you have the right to put out a Do Not Disturb because some potentially sensitive matters don't need visitors popping in and out.
     
    minstrel and JohnJCazorla like this.
  16. 50sman

    50sman Senior commenter

    Remember if it is done punitively on a regular basis there will soon be no staff left in the school as they will have either been forced out or have left unless the SLT really believe the DFE mantra that we have more teachers in this country than ever before

    The mantra is true - it is just that quite a lot of them don’t want to teach anymore - I wonder why?
     
    henrypm0 and Curae like this.
  17. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    In our place they will happen to any member of staff on the day after that member of staff has logged a behaviour incident on SiMs as per school policy.
    Funny that...

    The result of learning walks is that the teacher in question is approached in the next day or so by their line manager (normally HoD) who, shifting unhappily, informs that teacher of three things they are doing wrong. Not one. Not two. Three things.
    Funny that...

    The result of teachers being told of the three things they have done wrong as a result of a learning walk invoked by one logging of poor behaviour as per school policy, is that behaviour across the school is plummeting to new sweary depths of unruliness and sometimes not a lot of learning happens.
    Funny, that.

    Personally I strategise learning walks in advance. My strategy after half term is going to be "the biscuit". When Learning Walker enters, you say "hi!" and walk over offering an open packet of chocolate biscuits. They take one, uncomfortably. It is impossible not to. Then you say "Can you come back another time please, we are a bit busy", whilst looking at the biscuit they just took. They have no choice other than to leave.
    Works a treat, although if you ever get someone who prefers to put the biscuit back and stay, you're in trouble.
    Not happened yet, mind.
     
  18. TrueFaith

    TrueFaith New commenter

    Sounds like the SLT wanted to get their daily mile in..
     
  19. Curae

    Curae Lead commenter

    Good tactic.
    Chocolate biscuits here I come ...hope I don't eat them all though . I know I could could tel SLT not to come in Coz I ve run outa biscuits ;)
     
  20. Curae

    Curae Lead commenter

    I honestay think that learning walks observation are favoured because what easier task than to sit watch and criticise even when you have absolutely no idea what I am teaching. This is the most subjective task ever invented. Yes I allow ir ..no choice do I agree no ..not at all. Look and my results and award winning students and now ya talking.
     
    agathamorse likes this.

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