“Rounds being like a dipstick” part two of a book discussion – Ch 3-5

Well this is the second instalment of our discussion as some points to comment on. The first being I just love the image of “rounds being like a dipstick” (p.110)



Comment: there are just so many ways you might spin this image – when is something over filled – that the level changes when things are measured when cold or hot – it just goes on.

  • the difference between “Rounds” and supervisory evaluations is a bigger issue in school-based rounds settings as opposed to cross school ones (p.61)

Comment: I found this out in my original research on classroom observations – just what hat do you wear as a principal when you walk into classrooms to observe – is it feasible to differentiate between roles if you see something that not right? I think this tests our honesty – I think its beholden upon us to later on go back and say what I saw that made me feel uncomfortable – want to then make further observations (in a supervisory way) that this (whatever it is) isn’t a regular occurrence and take corrective action if it is.

  • “external rounds” is a way to practice “internal rounds” (p.68)

Comment: its like building capacity and I wonder if other network principals would be willing to have a go _ I’ll ask and answer this one later.

  • I am more likely to make a change (adjustment I would argue) if I had a chance to influence what you’re focusing on (p.74)

Comment: so true – it’s another reason for teachers to engage in discussion around a pop (problem of practice) as it creates ownership of the data.

  • “but we need someone from the outside come in to offer some calibration and help us push our practice” and I think they are talking about once a year (p.82).

Comment: if this work is not supported by others it make this external calibration and for that matter practice hard to do.

Comment: We discussed this 4th Chapter a little more and posed a question – do we have enough stoicism to keep revisiting the same problem of practice before we moved on?

  • by having (secondary) students involved in “rounds” it helped them think differently about their responsibility as students – taking responsibility for being engaged (p.91).

Comment: Interesting concept.

  • (external) rounds took 6 years before it got to school based (p.93) – that it takes time to move from the land of “nice” (p.106) and that rounds exist for differing purposes

Comment: hello this does take time BUT do we have that long? How long does it take to change a culture to a shared professional responsibility to improve our practice – if not then why are we here? AND here they were talking about rounds existing to evaluate some of our school based initiatives although I would argue that other protocols like walkthroughs could be used for some of these purposes (evaluative data collecting).

  • improvements happen quicker when you include professional learning as part of the problem solving around the pop.

Comment: professional learning I think here is defined in the broader sense.

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3 Responses to “Rounds being like a dipstick” part two of a book discussion – Ch 3-5

  1. Penny Jayne says:

    Hi Mark
    Good to see you & Erin book clubbing without me! You raise some interesting points here, but the ones that resonates deeply with me are:
    1. The stoicism (a great term by the way) needed to revisit a Problem of Practice (PoP) until it is solved. This was raised on Day 4 of the Data Wise Institute & Liz City made it clear that if the resulting Action Plan (which addresses both content delivery & instructional strategy) does not achieve the anticipated results, the PoP might need revisiting. An interesting notion given that people often want a ‘solution’. All the more reason to refer to Data Wise as an Inquiry process, (rather than an Improvement) as it invites teachers to continue to engage in repeated endeavours to solve an underlying PoP.
    2. The sense of urgency around improving Instructional Practice for the benefit of the students in our classrooms now! No we can’t wait, this work is too important! David Rease Jr often reminds people of the importance & the urgency of this work, which I’d like to emulate upon my return.
    Looking forward to joining you for chapter 5 next term.

    • mwalker says:

      solutions are to problems (POP)? inquiring or wondering is to see if an adjustment will lead to a different or better result for our efforts ??

Interested in your thoughts