If you're asking yourself (or the screen), "What are Wonder Walks??", then you definitely need to find out more by seeing my last blog post. It is there that I explain all of the logistics to Wonder Walks. So... click here... go read the post....
And now you might be asking, "And what does the debrief look like?"
Great question! Remember that the debriefing portion of the Wonder Walks is likely the most important part of the whole process, not only because it holds teachers accountable for their attention to instruction during the observation time, but also because it can encourage deep, thoughtful discussion about quality teaching. And HOPEFULLY great practices will be replicated across the campus. This is the best kind of professional development you could ask for: in-house, student-based, and actionable! So let's get to it:
3+3: Debriefing Wonder Walks
Three ways to gather teachers
Three Parts of a Debrief
Part 1: Setting Norms
When you begin your meeting, it will be important to set some norms with colleagues. This should be simple and brief so that you can move on to the "meat" of the meeting. Begin with the goal of the Wonder Walks. It might sound like this, "Remember that our goal from wonder walks was to peruse classrooms to glean wonderful instructional strategies and determine ways to replicate or modify these strategies across classrooms." After the goal has been restated, ask teachers what three or four things the group can agree to as you begin a deep dive into the data collected. Be sure teachers are stating only positive norms. For example, "We will share only positive statements", or "We will remain kind and respectful toward colleagues," or, "We will have an open mind..." Setting norms in this way can help build collective efficacy among staff.
Part 2: Deep Dive
And now it's time for the MEAT of the meeting!! There are so many ways that a team can go about diving into the data collected from Wonder Walks. Any of the instructional strategies from Jim Knight's The Instructional Playbook, or other strategy lists, can be used during this time. (If that's the case, your deep dive benefits teachers two-fold: a discussion on practices observed AND experience with modeled instructional strategies that can be used with students!) No matter the structure or format you choose, this time is spent allowing colleagues to converse and collaborate with partners or teams in an interactive and engaging way. The best way to get teachers to truly dig deep is to ask the right questions that keep them focused on INSTRUCTION. Those might sound something like this:
Part 3: Call to Action
While the Deep Dive is the heartiest piece of the meeting, the Call to Action is the most important piece. For it is here that teachers decide what it is they will add to (or take away from) their teaching practices. Just as you asked questions during the deep dive, you'll ask questions as you probe teachers to bring action to their thoughts and ideas. The questions suggested below stem from the work of Michael Bungay Stanier and promote growth both professionally and personally.
What does 3+3 equal??
Pure bliss??? Why, YES! That is, of course, IF YOU take the next steps to coach teachers to keep doing the great work. In order for the coaching to naturally take place, you'll want to know what teachers' are taking from the Call to Action. How could they jot their take-away ideas down in a way that is visible, not only to themselves, but also to you as an instructional leader? Perhaps you include a form that allows them to request support from an instructional leader before they even leave the meeting. In this case, get to the teachers that DO request support as soon as possible and begin some coaching conversations with them. For others that do not immediately request support, give a good portion of time for them to put some of their new ideas in place. Then make a point to check in with teachers, casually and individually, to see how their new practice has been going.
I can't wait to hear about how 3+3 equals pure bliss in your schools and classrooms! Reach out to share how you've found this to be effective!
Welcome! I am Casey Watts- teacher, mentor, leader, mother, and wife aspiring to be much more!