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?