Our district is continuing our school walkthroughs this school year - only this time our administrative team does not announce when we are arriving. Many teachers, principals and other staff find these walkthroughs to be beneficial because our purpose is not to evaluate the teacher, but rather to provide real feedback on what we see in the 10-15 minutes we are in the classroom. It is a "snapshot" and the information is freely shared with the teacher, so they know what we saw and what we didn't.
The instrument we use covers basic instruction items, what the teacher is doing while we are in the room, what activities / learning styles the students are using and the culture / environment of the classroom. I believe these walkthroughs are valuable for all parties involved and provide data to the classroom teachers that they sometimes may not have the opportunity to see.
On a personal note, I always enjoy these walkthroughs as it provides me an opportunity to see quality instruction, students engaged and learning and (of course) the teacher/student use of technology. Each time we conduct these walkthroughs I continue to see more and more integration, collaboration and communication. As we continue to finalize the installation of our interactive items in all schools, the use of these devices (by both teacher and student) is growing exponentially. It always brings a smile to my face when I can walk into a classroom and see students highly engaged in learning and utilizing technology.
JDS | CIO