The School Year: A Cycle of Continuous Improvement

September/October: Getting to know one another as learners

November/December: We are a learning community

January/February: Immersed in learning

March/April: Accumulating evidence of learning

May/June: Celebrating learning

July/August: Reflecting on learning


… And so the rhythm of the school year goes. Providing educators with a natural timeframe for a continuous improvement cycle, multiple opportunities to hone our craft.

At this time of year, as we celebrate learning, we think first about ways to replicate success. We reflect by looking “into the mirror.” What was it about my planning, classroom environment and instructional practices that contributed to success? Why did that unit of study produce such rigorous evidence of learning? How did Jason develop such perseverance? What strategies had the greatest impact?

As we contemplate challenges, we can learn so much by looking “out the window.”

What can we learn from others that might enhance our professional practices? Although teachers often share plans and materials, there is no substitute for seeing those plans in action. In schools, too often the only person who has this opportunity is the “evaluator,” a person with a title, a “positional” leader.

But is leadership really a position, or is it a disposition? If we agree that it is a disposition, what are we doing in schools to enhance this disposition, to empower educators to be leaders of their own learning? Is sharing in grade levels, teams and department meetings sufficient? Can providing opportunities for professionals to watch students respond to lesson plans and instructional materials enhance the continuous improvement cycle?

Peer Learning Walks break traditional barriers by connecting colleagues through professional conversations that cross levels and content areas, opening doors to new ways of thinking about teaching and learning. Learn about how a supportive protocol can empower teachers to continue to enhance their professional practices again next year.

To learn more click here.

Judy Barbera
McKay Consulting Group