If you are currently an administrator, or envision yourself in that role some day, one of the tasks that will come to you will be evaluating the level of instruction taking place. In Lakota, I was fortunate to work for three different building principals who were tremendous instructional leaders. Messrs. Pike, Howard, and Taylor all care very deeply about meaningful class activities full of rigor. They demanded it from their teachers and I was better because of it. Flash forward to a conversation I had today. I sat with an administrator at lunch. One of her questions really stuck with me. “What should a building principal see/hear when they walk into a class using your materials?” I loved the question. After I provided her a checklist of things that another administrator put together for their district, I reflected on our discussion.
What does good teaching look like? What does it sound like? What does it smell like? It would be simple to list some general characteristics. I’m more interested in “specific & concrete” examples, as my friend Kelly would say. When you hear a specific example, it gets you thinking about your class and how you could do something like that. You reach higher because you are inspired. Think about your class. Think about another teacher you know. Comment and give ONE specific example of good teaching. What made that teaching moment exceptional? What did you learn from it?