Weighing and measuring instead of growing and feeding is all well and good. But in several schools up and down the country, we are still seeing monitoring and evaluation schedules alongside quality assurance timetables.
The problem with this is that it focuses on judgement when we should be giving precedence to improving the quality of teaching and learning in school. Thankfully, there are ways in which you can switch your mindset and deliver truly great teaching.
Rethink your teaching and learning policy
Start by explicitly explaining what you are trying to achieve with your teaching and learning policy. Not only will this increase focus on the task in hand, it also makes you more accountable for what you are trying to do.
Put your CPD lead in charge
Your lead for CPD should manage any teaching and learning policy. Otherwise this creates a barrier between giving judgments and making improvements. In an ideal world, they’ll also be your curriculum lead.
Get buy-in from your colleagues
Despite the fact senior leadership will often overlook quality assurance processes, they tend to do the least amount of teaching. Therefore, get buy-in from all your colleagues so they can see good teaching and utilise it in their own classrooms.
Concentrate on significant change
From a development point of view, the more things you focus on, the less chance they’ll be acted on. Be as precise and specific as you can when it comes to development, concentrating on significant change. This makes it much easier to evaluate these changes when you next visit the classroom.
Names not numbers
Progress meetings are great, as it enables both the leader and teacher to assess the performance of pupils in class. But it is important to focus on the barriers specific children are facing too. Discuss names, not numbers to help facilitate meaningful progress. This also ties into pupil premium students, where alternative ways of thinking are often required to meet needs on an individual level.
Reach out for support
Don’t be afraid to ask colleagues what they can do to improve the teaching and learning of others in the school. The more colleagues you reach out to, the more support you’ll receive.
Consider open classrooms
Why not replace one of your learning walks with open classrooms? Come up with a timetable that tells teachers when colleagues would like other co-workers to visit their classrooms to see what’s going on, what’s working and what isn’t.
Coach, then coach some more
Coaching is potentially the most powerful tool you have at your disposal to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. There are numerous resources you can call upon to develop your own coaching process, along with providing training for teachers to coach as well.
With any luck, these eight steps will help teachers go from fearing monitoring and evaluation to actually enjoying the process of development. In turn, this will grow the quality of teaching, which measuring alone cannot achieve.