I am a first-year teacher at a high school listed as a priority to the district (i.e. school improvement needed). I like the school and the students but it seems like the administration is in my classroom all the time. I’m concerned that they do not trust my capabilities to teach my students. Am I being paranoid?
Yes, you are being “watched” for lack of a better term. In any organization, administrators monitor the activity taking place. For schools, this monitoring happens during classroom walkthroughs. These walkthroughs help administrators connect to our students’ learning. As a first year teacher, it is even more important that your administration sees what is taking place in your classroom—not in an “I caught you” way, but to better assist you as you develop your instructional identity. A 2013 article in Educational Leadership, “How Do Principals Really Improve Schools?,” asserts that classroom walkthroughs allow for “a new pair of eyes in the classroom, where we are able to help a teacher become aware of unintended instructional or classroom management patterns. We could express appreciation for the wonderful work a teacher was doing because we had witnessed it firsthand. We observed powerful instructional strategies that we were able to share with other teachers.”
Administrators’ walkthroughs are opportunities for them to provide instructional leadership and coaching with specific feedback. Don’t be discouraged by the visits! Embrace the attention, demonstrate your abilities, and be open to the feedback as you strengthen your instructional identity.