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  • Jim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 12/29/14 - How much is enough?

How much is enough?


How frequent should observations be? Most SAM teams pay close attention to the frequency of interaction the principal has with each teacher. This is a powerful factor in achieving improvement.


But how frequent should the principal’s observation of a teacher be?


There is not a “right” answer. Some experts suggest ten separate observations in a year. Others suggest thirty. Some SAM teams schedule one observation each week for every teacher.


Most teams vary the kind of observation. In the SAM process there are four:

1. Observation (longer, usually formal/summative)

2. Walkthrough (shorter, usually informal/formative)

3. Work w/students (principal works in a classroom with kids while teacher is teaching, informal/formative)

4. Student Supervision (principal helps redirect students who are not engaged while teacher is teaching, informal/formative)


Talk about the number of observations you want to plan for at your next SAM Daily Meeting. Take a look at your data for the last month. How many times did the principal see each teacher?

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