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Use the impressions you gain early in the school year during your travels through the school to build collaborative working partnerships with faculty and staff. This avoids rushing to judgment and making irresponsible employment decisions, and it enables you to use these impressions to build productive relationships with both new and veteran faculty members. Following is a checklist to help you organize your thoughts before you visit with staff members:

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  • Develop a note-taking schema that is much more free-form than the district evaluation documents. This is for your own use—to help spark ideas about how to work together.
  • Avoid any rush to judgment. There is no need now for a summary statement that indicates good or bad. Tweet this
  • Describe what you see and how you feel as you see it. Focus particularly on how you feel about the partnership between you and the teacher and the students and the teacher. Is it working? Does the teacher think it is working?
  • Reflect on this partnership with the teacher. If it is a new teacher, reflect with the teacher mentor in this partnership.
  • Visit and revisit the goals the teacher has laid out for himself or herself and how these goals mesh with the school’s goals and goals for student learning.
  • Come prepared to find out what resources are missing that would enhance the classroom performance, and be ready to provide those resources—media, technology, training, equipment.
  • Get a feel for the teacher’s interest. Ask what he reads, who her heroes are, who he or she would like to emulate and why.
  • Ask “in the perfect world” type questions that reveal how the teacher perceives himself or herself and the school. What, in the teacher’s estimation, would be necessary to get to this “…perfect world”?

Thought for the Week

AI can teach and share knowledge, sure, but it lacks the key elements of human modeling, nurturing, and connecting that are essential components of a comprehensive learning process.

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