The Montour School District administrators take great pride in spending time in the classrooms, conducting walk through, and observing the teaching and learning process.
The classroom walkthrough is a method for gathering snapshots of classroom environments, learning experiences, and/or teacher and student perspectives in order to improve professional practice and student performance.
An intricate piece of the classroom walkthroughs are established “look-fors.” Look-fors are specific instructional descriptors of conditions that when present in the classroom enable teachers to improve achievement and learning levels.
Below are examples of district-wide instructional look-fors:
Positive Classroom Environment
It is widely understood teachers who strive for a positive classroom environment tend to focus on a number of elements that contribute to making that happen. These elements include good relationships between all members of the class, teachers who inspire all students to learn and grow, classroom routines that are consistent and clear, high expectations for learning, and discipline is fair and firm.
Continuous Student Engagement
A fundamental component of teaching students is to maintain classroom engagement in learning activities. We as a district recognize students who become bored are more likely to act out and less likely to enjoy learning. Students’ inability to focus due to a lack of interest and engagement will detract from their overall educational gains. Montour teaching staff will be expected to create and maintain engagement in the classroom and adequately meet the needs of all students.
Sound Instructional Methodologies—Launch, Explore, Summarize
To effectively reach the 21st century student, several instructional shifts must take place: the teacher becomes a listener, rather than a lecturer; the teacher becomes the sorter of information, rather than always giving information; students must be constantly engaged with the content and continually challenged to stretch their learning experience. The instructional model which is supported by the Montour School District is called Launch – Explore – Summarize.
In this constructivist approach, the teacher’s role in the classroom begins with an intense focus on “what” students should be able to “do” concluding the lesson. The Launch is followed by directed Exploration learning that is stimulated by teacher / student questions, discussion, and activities. Finally, through observations and feedback to assess performance, the teacher proceeds to Summarize and highlight “what” should have been learned.
Utilizing Data to Drive Instruction
The overarching purposes of administering assessments are to ensure students understand and grasp key taught concepts. One piece which is often overlooked is the reflective process of reviewing student summative and formative data to help drive instruction.
Montour teaching and administrative staff will be expected to create and engage in an environment where data leads teachers to become: reflect on own practices, generate new strategies to reach students, make practical educational decisions, and ultimately, be a more engaged, effective, productive teacher in order to grow the Montour students.