Learning Walks: Monitoring Implementation  

Learning Walks: Monitoring Implementation

Throughout the month of March, I have been busy on-site in school districts. One of my favorite job responsibilities at ESU 10 is the opportunity to go into classrooms to see strategies educators have learned from our training in action. I am part of the Leadership Network and Academic Literacy Project (ALP) at ESU 10 and one component of these training series is learning walks.

The Teaching and Learning Department has provided updates to the ESU 10 Board on the Leadership Network during the past two years. I am facilitating two network triads this year. When we go on-site to districts, our triads visit classrooms to observe teacher practice and look for evidence of student engagement. These observations provide me the opportunity to model effective reflection processes for administrators and work on my feedback skills. During these classroom learning walks, I have observed tremendous growth in the feedback administrators are producing and connections they are making to their problem of practice. The network continues to evolve and grow. Our T&L team will be hosting an overview session for the 2023-2024 series on April 5. Our hope is to add three or four new administrative triads next fall.

Another opportunity I have to participate in learning walks is through the Academic Literacy Project (ALP). ALP began in 2011 and we continue to have school districts committed to this initiative. I support Northwest Public Schools in ALP and each semester we conduct learning walks in all of the buildings. Northwest’s Director of Teaching and Learning, building principals, and teachers participate in learning walks to observe teachers implementing comprehension, engagement, text discussion, and vocabulary strategies. Our focus is on watching the students to see how they are responding to teacher instructional strategies learned in training. The learning walk process promotes peer-to-peer feedback and support. Administrators and teachers share effective practices that they directly observe and provide suggestions for improvement to help each teacher grow.

In both of these initiatives, reflection and feedback are integral components of implementation success. I am proud of the work of our T&L staff who are supporting these initiatives to help school districts in their implementation and sustainability. Evidence shows us that these two initiatives are successful due to the support of ESU 10 staff. We will continue to provide on-site support as long as resources and staff capacity allow us to do so. My hope is that we will continue to grow this support network and learning walk process into additional ESU 10 districts.

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