Archimedean leadership (1): What problems could leverage observation solve?

Improving Teaching

Give me but one firm spot on which to stand, and I will move the earth.”
Archimedes, on the action of a lever


More modestly, introducing leverage observations, Paul Bambrick-Santoyo quoted Abraham Lincoln:

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” (citation issues)

Many aspects of lesson observations inhibit their usefulness and prevent them from sharpening our metaphorical axes.  For example:

They are usually infrequent.  In my former school, after my NQT year, I received one, annual Performance Management observation.  A collegial department, planning with colleagues and peer observations have huge merits, but only a critical observer will identify how well students are actually learning – and what I’ve missed.  Annual, or even termly observations make this unlikely to be a major influence on me.

Many observations remain judgmental.  At my current school, determined to do staff development better, we held six…

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