Today at the Region 6 Education Service Center's Administrator Conference, I had the honor of hearing Coppell ISD's Superintendent Dr. Jeff Turner speak about educational transformation and the School Transformation Network. You can see my Tweets about the event on June 20, 2012.
One suggestion Dr. Turner made really stood out to me as something any school district administrator could do that might teach us what we need to know about what is really going on in our classrooms. Teachers constantly tell me that their administrators are completely out of touch with what is going on, and I think they're right, we are. Let's change that with Dr. Turner's suggestion for "Day-in-the-Life Walkthroughs."
Here's how Dr. Turner described them (paraphrased):
Two or three times a year, I go into the counselor's office and I ask her to pull up a random schedule, then I follow that schedule, that real student's schedule, all day. I go to every class period, the whole period, not 20 minutes of it. I go to the lunch that kid goes to . . . everything. My administrators now do this too. The process has opened our eyes as to how far we have to go.
Dr. Turner submitted the following, again, this is a paraphrase:
Principals and superintendents, if you think your students are doing 21st Century engaging learning, try this. I bet you will be surprised. I bet you will be bored. You will be glad you don't have to come back the next day and do it again.