What’s Your Pulse?


Just as a physician takes our pulse during an office visit to check our health, schools should be doing the same. What’s your school’s pulse? Here are some thoughts on a healthy school pulse.

When walking through the building do you see:

  • Students in groups, not just talking, but asking questions, using content vocabulary, creating learning together, excited about what they are doing?
  • The teacher is involved in student discussion and learning and not the center of learning?
  • Students can tell anyone who comes in to the classroom what they are researching, discussing, analyzing?
  • There is high expectation for learning, not just test scores? There are student projects showcased?
  • Learning is taking place all over, even in the hall with students are spread out using computers, textbooks, library books, other devices as allowed? My favorite pictures in my classroom are those of students putting together a presentation while the textbook, notebook, etc are on their laps and desks. I co-wrote and article for Educational Leadership in 2009 and it is still timely. Here is the link for those interested- http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/mar09/vol66/num06/Anywhere_Learning.aspx
  • Learning happening anytime, anywhere and are you, the teacher, a part of it during non school hours?  Are students sharing writing, projects, and anything else with you on Google Docs, Edmodo, etc.?
  • Active not passive learning?

As I walk through the halls of my own building, I think about our pulse. What does learning look/sound like to you?


6 responses »

  1. Kay,

    If I saw that going on at my school, you’d have to check my pulse…cause I’m sure I would have fainted dead away. What I am finding is that leadership does not have this vision for our school. So for me I would be incredibly interested in how the school made that transition. I see kids lingering in the halls to socialize and lots of passive learning going on in the classroom. My school is not a very healthy patient if you looked at its pulse.

    • Becky,
      I have been thinking about the pulse of my school for awhile, and certainly not perfect. When I walk by classrooms and see kids laying across desk, daydreaming, I wonder how a teacher does not wonder why. I wish more in leadership would come through schools to take the pulse. Thanks for your comment and it would be a great discussion from teachers and those in other leadership roles (supt, principals, etc ).

  2. This is a lovely post, Kay. I am so glad I decided to spend some time before bed browsing the blogs of my #sschat tweeps. My school is phasing in a new teacher evaluation process, and one of the things we’re going to work on is a teacher constructed checklist of what engaged and effective learning looks like in a classroom. I’m hoping we can use this list for self-reflection AND evaluation. Your post is really going to help me construct my own list to bring to the group discussion. Thank you so much!

  3. Pingback: What’s Your Pulse? « Educational Technology for Teachers

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