With “Instructional Rounds,” Cultivating the “Art and Science” of Teaching
The Dell City School has launched a new program of “instructional rounds,” which is designed to help teachers learn from one another and to grow in the “art and science” of teaching.
Teachers, along with school administrators, visit one another's classrooms – and then share feedback with their peers. Principal Carlos Contreras said visitors get to see what their fellow teachers are doing in the classroom, and, “more importantly, what students are doing.” The critical question, Contreras said, is whether students are engaged.
“There is a science to everything,” Contreras said, “but there's also an art, and there's definitely an art of teaching. Here, we can learn from one another – it's a chance to dialogue, to discuss instructional practices.”
The first instructional rounds were Nov. 15. Contreras and Supt. Ruben Cervantes were joined in the classroom visits by two of the district's veteran, lead teacher, Joseph and Tesha Czubinski. The visitors stayed for about 20 minutes. Later in the day, they shared their observations and feedback with their colleagues.
Contreras said he hopes to make the instructional rounds a monthly activity. The next set is Dec. 18. Two teachers will be selected to join Contreras in those visits. Sylvia Hopp, the “monitor” assigned to Dell City ISD by the Texas Education Agency, and Dr. Christine Althoff, director of academic instruction and school support at the regional Education Service Center in El Paso, will also participate.
“It's a learning opportunity both for the teachers and the visitors,” Contreras said.