How principals can make classroom observation more constructive

Pre-announced, yearly classroom evaluations do little to improve teacher performance, writes former Boston teacher, principal and administrator Kim Marshall. "The best way for principals to get a reality check on teachers' practices and to stay in close touch with classrooms is to make several unannounced classroom visits a day, and then have candid face-to-face conversations with each observed teacher within 24 hours," Marshall writes. "Using this approach systematically throughout the year sparks hundreds of substantive conversations about teaching and learning -- which are even more robust if the principal is part of discussions about interim results."

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