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Importance Of Instructional Rounds In Education

By Patricia Wright

Instructional rounds have gained prominence in the last few years due to the effectiveness in helping to improve education dissemination in schools. These programs help teachers get access to the classrooms of more experienced teachers and veterans in the profession. It is one way to find different approaches to teaching. The program helps to foster excellent collaboration between colleagues irrespective of schools they are based. The main aim in instructional rounds in education is to help beginners learn from experienced individuals.

The instructional rounds program allows educators to quickly develop their skills by looking at what other exemplary individuals in same field do. It helps new and inexperienced teachers to later reflect on what was observed and be able to come up with a solid plan to improve. It is always better to learn by observing what others do rather than relying on theory and notes.

The program is made of teams of about five members and a minimum of three members exclusive of the leader. This individual, team leader, should be a respectable person who is considered a leader. An administrator may also assume this role. It is a rule that no teacher should be put under evaluation at any one time.

Although the education fraternity supports this program, there is no coercion done to make teachers accept colleagues in their classrooms. It is a requirement that all observation is done because of volunteers who open up their classrooms. Individuals asked to become the subject of scrutiny should be good at what they do and post excellent results.

It is good to enhance efficiency and effectiveness by keeping the groups conducting rounds small. A maximum of five professionals is optimal. During the scheduled day, the teacher whose classroom is being observed should alert pupils of the impending visit. Once the teachers arrive, courtesy demands that they knock first and wait to be welcomed in. They should move quietly to the back of the class or any available space that provides minimum interruption. The teachers usually take notes of the session and watch how the teacher uses different strategies to disseminate information. When the session is over, the team thanks the volunteer teacher and students.

After the lesson, the team will convene in a specified location to reflect and discuss their experiences. Each teacher will comment on what they have observed and add any other relevant information. The team leader should remind all members that the aim of session is not to evaluate a teacher but to learn something new. This session is discrete and no information learnt, observed or discussed should be repeated outside the circle. In addition, no member of a particular group should offer suggestions to the volunteer teacher unless they ask for such feedback.

Findings are presented in a special format. This will start with all the positive things observed plus any short explanations given to help the others understand why one came to the conclusion. Negative comments will then be stated and expounded as well.

At the end of the rounds, each individual teacher is expected to implement what they have learnt and observed. Its a great way for teachers to pick up new tactics and strategies to implement and incorporate them into their teaching. The main aim is to improve education standards to benefit students.

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