Slice of Life Day 20: Staying Calm

It all started with a fire alarm. I pull up, the alarm continues. Strange I think, a fire alarm and I’m unlocking the door and going in. It stops. Parent conference, need copies, bell rings, chaperone dropped out of field trip, PE data due, Future Leader nomination due, oh and don’t forget to get your book wish list in for Open House Friday, apps need to be down loaded, tech team.

Stay calm and ….copies in hand, my students meet me and we walk to the classroom.
Deep breath, let’s go.

We do what we do first, same as usual: breakfast in the classroom, I ignore that — vocabulary, I’m all over it.

The difference in my classroom today is the team of my colleagues watching. Today we started instructional rounds. They watched with their own lenses of discovery and then moved on to four other classrooms to observe. This was the first time these teachers, who had been teaching together for over ten years, had EVER seen each other teach.

Nine o’clock. I go with two of my students to do a podcast with Robert Bravo and Rudy Rizzo on twitter and blogging (yesterday’s slice). It was fun. What could be better, talking about something I’m passionate about and want to share with the world. The fact that I got to tell someone that can move the message further, all the better. My students rocked it.

Back to class by 9:30.

Fast forward to the end of the day, the two groups of teachers who did instructional rounds today meet in the library.

We talk, clarify, listen.

My big question for my colleagues was – did you like the experience?

I loved it I got at least three gems from each room.

Now I know what book clubs look like in the next grade. Now I know what I’m getting them ready for.

I just want all of the charts.

Everyone works so hard. There are no wasted minutes.

I’m just a sponge

Bottom line today was a really good day. Thanks to twitter,  edcampLA, and @MrZiebarth’s great resources for instructional rounds. Thanks to my terrific colleagues and great leadership.

What started with a fire alarm ended just about as good as I could have expected.

A happy ending for today.

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8 thoughts on “Slice of Life Day 20: Staying Calm

  1. Phew, that was one busy day. The way your wrote it added to the pace of the piece and had me there rushing with you. Great slice. Thanks for a peek into your day. 🙂

  2. We have not yet moved into instructional rounds, although our last principal was moving us in that direction (then, he left). I like the idea of it — the non-judgmental approach to sharing expertise and knowledge and feedback.
    Kevin

  3. Oh I love this! I can feel your enthusiasm through this post and it sounds like it was a terrific experience. I confess, I haven’t heard the term “instructional rounds” but I like what I read about here. Sounds like a valuable experience!! (So glad the podcast went well too!)

  4. Julieanne,
    I first thought the fire alarm was going to be your alarm clock waking you from a “nightmare” situation! What a great learning day! We love instructional rounds AKA “learning walks” and have had HS and MS teachers in elementary classrooms. Every student is the cumulative result of “years” of instruction so vertical conversation is critical!

    Can’t wait to hear more about the tech presentation!

  5. Happy that the podcast experience went so well, Julieanne, & the instructional rounds sounds awesome. Wish we did that at our school! Have a great day today too!

  6. What a positive day. Glad that you shared it with us. I have had university students visiting my class, and teachers from other schools, but not my colleagues. I wonder how it would shift the conversations.

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