Question: I have been told that anyone can ‘walk-through’ my classroom at any time? Should I be given prior notice of these visits?
Answer: If the purpose of the walk-through is for another DET employee (e.g. teaching colleague, master teacher, mentor teacher, head of program, HOC, HOD, HOSES etc) to visit the classroom for the purpose of a short visit to meet and greet the students, or provide some information of relevance to daily school operations, then prior notice is not required.
If the purpose is to observe the classroom teacher teaching, no matter how briefly, then the arrangements outlined in the "Joint statement on collegial engagement in the classroom" apply. That is, the nature and frequency of the lesson observations must be negotiated through the LCC. The LCC must therefore decide the type of practice to be observed (these will generally align with school priorities and/or pedagogical frameworks), by whom, how often, and what type of feedback is provided back to the teacher. Ideally, the LCC should determine this at the beginning of the year. The Annual Teacher Performance Review (ATPR) process recommends no more than one lesson observation per term, up to a maximum of four observations in a 12- month period.
If the principal, his or her nominee, or a deputy principal wishes to visit a classroom, then the joint statement on collegial engagement applies i.e. Schemes of classroom engagement and observation are not intended to prevent the ad hoc involvement of school leaders in classroom activities. DET employees who are external to the school e.g. assistant regional directors (ARD) are not covered by the joint statement and therefore if an ARD wants to observe/walk through a classroom, then agreement must be reached with the relevant teachers before the visit.
[Information updated 24 March 2016]
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