Strategy 3: Accountability is a powerful tool.
According to a study conducted by the Society of Behavioral Medicine, while many people struggle to reach fitness goals by themselves, they show significant improvement when exercising with a partner—even if that friend was only there virtually, communicating via text or an app like DietBet.
Sharing your observation and feedback goals can be similarly motivating. If you have an assistant principal or instructional coaches, set goals as a group and check in regularly to talk about your progress and where you’re struggling. Challenge your leadership team to a friendly competition to see who can observe the most teachers in a given month. Beyond the incentive to win, these types of competition help to identify trends across a school as well as highlight inefficiencies in your process. You’ll get great insight into whether a special PD session should be given to help a group of teachers working on the same skills or if unequal coaching loads should be reassigned.
Don’t have anyone on your leadership team to hold you accountable? Ask your teachers! If teachers expect you to share feedback with them, it will be much more difficult to cancel or postpone observations. Plus, by investing teachers in the process, you can set the expectation that coaching is all about feedback ahead of time, and help quell any discomfort that comes with having the principal in the back of the classroom.
Libby Fischer is CEO of Whetstone Education.