Superintendent of Schools
Getting Into Classrooms:
As you may know, I really do enjoy getting into classrooms. Just as our students need to feel connected, classroom visits keep me connected to our core work. In short, it reminds why I’m here. Truly.
At last month’s Redondo Union High School Back to School Night, Mr. Brandt, the school’s principal, clearly engaged the attention of his parent audience when he said, “I was in about 95 classrooms today… let me tell you what I saw…” The parents melted; heck, I melted and I do not have a child attending RUHS, yet. I know that Mr. Erickson, principal of Parras Middle School, has a special checklist in his office to ensure he’s getting into all classrooms equally. (As I recall, there is a clever color coding system that he maintains for these informal visits.) Principals work to get into classrooms every single day. District office leaders and our Board of Education get into classrooms every year, most even twice. So, why the big fuss over getting into classrooms?
- You experience the ‘bread and butter’ of our work, instruction.
- You catch the little things (a kid who needs a little pep talk, a broken LED projector that needs to be fixed, or a teacher or instructional aide who need a smile).
- You validate the hard work of teachers. Teachers embrace your presence.
- Students tell their parents, “I saw so-and-so in my classroom today.” Parents LOVE that. I know I do.
- You may see a student on his/her phone—AHA!
- It simply validates our own work, as educational leaders.
I always feel reinvigorated after visiting classrooms. The vibrancy is contagious. Teaching and learning are the “business of schools” and being in classrooms keeps the energy and motivation high to continue to do what we in RBUSD do—stay connected!