If you would like to visit a colleague in your building or in another school, you can simply request approval from your administrator with the handy Administrators Letter (linked HERE) drafted by Teachers Lead Philly (TLP) .
We thank the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the School District of Philadelphia for valuing teachers' professional collaboration. Special thanks also to Darren Spielman, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Education Fund, and Diane Waff, Director of the Philadelphia Writing Project, both of whom have endorsed teacher observations and TLP’s Administrators Letter. Dr. Waff explained that a benefit of teacher collaboration: "Teacher to teacher observation creates a context for teachers to learn from and with each other."
History is Important!
As part of our study of effective collaboration, members of Teachers Lead Philly reviewed District policy and research on education. Here’s what we learned:
In 1975, the School District of Philadelphia enacted policy that supports teacher and secretarial observations. According to District Policy 5.12, "The Superintendent of Schools may grant a leave of absence for the purpose of observation without loss of salary to teachers and secretaries...."
In 1991, Susan L. Lytle and Robert Fecho published an interesting article entitled "Meeting strangers in familiar places: teacher collaboration by cross-visitation." We read this article and others in preparation for our October, 2012 workshop.
In 1994 and again in 2008, the District updated Policy 308.2.8.2, but the word "secretaries" was no longer included with this specific wording: "The Superintendent of Schools may grant a leave of absence for the purpose of observation without loss of salary to teachers...." Anyone know the status of secretary observations?
What do you think?
Why do you think collegial observations, as an aspect of teacher collaboration, is important?