At a Glance
At Franklin County Career & Technology Center (FCCTC), new teachers visit each CTE program within the school as part of four scheduled learning walks. The walks provide teachers with an opportunity to observe instructional practices and resources used by more experienced teachers, and the walks teach them about the other programs.
FCCTC implemented the New Teacher Learning Walks for the 2018-2019 school year in response to teacher feedback indicating an interest in peer observation as a professional learning opportunity. Administrators developed a structured learning walk program that coordinates with the CTC’s Professional Learning Community Framework. New teachers attend four learning walks during the year, and each teacher who is not a first-year teacher presents during one of the walks. FCCTC administrators also encourage experienced teachers to participate in one learning walk as an observer. Substitute coverage is provided for teachers who participate.
In preparation for the learning walk, the administration provides teachers who will be observed with an agenda and a basic outline of what to address and explain when the new teachers observe their class. Learning walk participants complete an observation form with guided questions when they are in the classroom and then complete a reflection form after the learning walk. The learning walks are scheduled so that new teachers visit experienced teachers from each of the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) that guide professional development at FCCTC.
Scheduling substitute coverage and assigning teachers topics to present are the two greatest challenges to scheduling and organizing the learning walks. To address these challenges, administrators use the PLC framework to assign topics. It serves as an effective management tool because it focuses on certain areas related to each PLC topic, and it is an easy reference for faculty members to use. FCCTC uses Perkins funds to pay for substitute coverage and consulting fees.
FCCTC consulted with James Daniel Associates to develop and facilitate the learning walks and other PLC events. To learn more about FCCTC’s approach to professional development, read the Professional Learning Communities Lead to Professional Development profile.
The New Teacher Learning Walks help raise awareness and increase respect and teamwork among FCCTC educators. Instructors are more informed about what and how their peers teach. They also share more resources and collaborate to develop new resources and teaching strategies.
Franklin County Career & Technology Center
Dr. Ben Mordan, Assistant Administrative Director