By Tim Reaves
EMS – Clyde A. Erwin Middle School teachers became the students this week, learning from each other and building a strong school spirit to prepare students for tomorrow!
The teachers started by writing down their strengths and weaknesses. Then they observed the classrooms of other teachers whose strengths corresponded with their weaknesses. Later, they reflected on what they learned and left positive feedback for the teachers they observed. This “learning walk” was a great opportunity for teachers to collaborate and get to know the teaching styles of their peers. They saw humorous, nurturing teachers, as well as students who trusted them and felt comfortable asking questions.
“The classroom walkthroughs provided a great opportunity to see teachers using their best practices,” said eighth-grade math teacher Jennifer Corbitt. “It helped me refocus a few skills that I haven’t used as much. It was also nice for my eighth-grade students to see one of their seventh-grade teachers and show them how hard they are working.”
Eighth-grade science teacher Tanya Payne visited seventh-grade English language arts teacher Ben Urfer for pointers on how to incorporate writing into the learning process. Other teachers came to her because she’s great at speaking, listening, and getting a lively conversation going in her classroom.
“The learning walk was a wonderful experience,” Ms. Payne said. “I saw expectations, engagement, pacing, and special moments from other classrooms. That’s going to be useful for improving my teaching strategies going forward.”
“This shows us the power of getting in each other’s classrooms and building on all the good things we see happening,” added BCS middle school math coach Jessica Vernon. “We’re going to keep building these relationships with each other and with students, because we’re stronger together.”
Editor’s note: Article and photo courtesy of Buncombe County Schools.