SIM 3: Intervene
We believe this is the best choice for an instructional leader to make after the walkthrough in the scenario. Intervention should probably begin with a conversation. You and Donna - or you, Donna and Tom - could start with some belief statements about how students learn. I suspect everyone at the table will agree that classroom management is an important aspect of teaching and learning. Build on this shared belief to get a better idea of why certain strategies are being used. As a leader, it’s vitally important to listen for understanding instead of speaking to be heard.
During the conversation be intentional to listen more than you speak. Keep the learning conversation going with the powerful prompt, “tell me more about that”. Check for understanding using a restatement like, “What I hear you saying is…..”.
Be clear in your expectation to move beyond the existing classroom management strategies (solely) to create a more robust learning community. To get started in a new direction, we suggest you find one area to highlight and suggest an alternative approach. For example, “I was in your classroom for 10 minutes and I didn’t see any opportunity for large-group, or small-group discussion about what you were learning. Consider using a strategy like 10/2 to make sure learners have a chance to pause, reflect, and make meaning of what your lesson is focused on. Tom can help you, or I’ll be glad to show you the strategy in the professional learning section of Discovery Education.”
Learning is messy, and although a new teacher often needs extra support, and practice, to get a handle on classroom management, it’s always best to support that new teacher in a philosophy and approach that will enhance learning goals, and create the kind of culture and climate for creative, critically thinking, collaborative and communicative students.