Visiting classrooms, what an opportunity!

Having supportive admin is half the battle in teaching today.  I have the privilege of working with two amazing admins @paulclemens5 and @kkeerybi who embrace my teaching style and allow me to try new things.  When I approach them with new things to try I know that they will ask me the tough questions (how does it fit in with the curriculum; how does it meet the students’ needs; are your kids going to embrace it; etc.) but once they see the value I will usually get the go ahead.  They sometimes just give me the go ahead because they trust me as a professional.  They know that I will always try to put my students first.

Today I had the privilege of visiting a school with a principal @ICprin whose thinking is very much like my own principal.  He was willing to open his doors and show us the great things that are happening at his school.  He noted that everyone is not at the same stage but he was okay with that.  We were able to chat with students about their learning, trying new things and things they liked about their school.

Isn’t it a great thing that we as teachers have colleagues (whether in our school, our board, or our province) who we can look at, examine their teaching practices and take away something to make us better.  Everyday we display level 4 work in our classroom and ask our students to bump their work up.  What is wrong with us also having some level 4 examples that we too can bump our work up.  I thank @avivaloca every day for persisting and encouraging me to join Twitter.   I get the opportunity to talk to people like @Lisa_Donahue; @mraspinall; @mrbillforrester; @mrsoclassroom; @MatthewOldridge and the list goes on.  I get to throw ideas at them; get feedback on lessons, units, activities; suggestions on how to do something better.  Yes, I get them to ‘evaluate’ my practice and give me suggestions on how to make it better.  My admin allows me to have visitors in my room to see some of the great things my students are doing and I also benefit from this because they can share with me some of the things they like and would like to take away.  It is a give give situation.  Having visitors from other schools and boards allow me to get feedback from people outside my everyday teaching life.  Most of my colleagues see or know some of the things we do in my classroom but having my students share their learning with people outside our school is a privilege.

Because of my supportive admin, I get the opportunity to make my teaching better every single day.  I get the opportunity to open up my doors to visitors and say please come in; let us know how we are doing.   Not sure if I have told my admin how much I truly appreciate this.  Not sure I have told them how much I appreciate the opportunity to grow.

About jcorbinh

I am a grade 8 teacher who absolutely love teaching language and math and would find it extremely stressful if I had to choose between the two. After 20 years of teaching I am still passionate about my job and enjoy learning new things with and from my students. I try to incorporate new things to motivate and encourage my students and integrating more technology into my lessons has become one of my major goals.
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9 Responses to Visiting classrooms, what an opportunity!

  1. Paul Clemens says:

    It is such a pleasure to support you in the great work that you are doing in your room, JoAnn! I appreciate your willingness to try new things and to push student thinking even when there are some students, parents (and unfortunately, staff) who push back against innovative practice. Keep up the great work!

    • jcorbinh says:

      Thank you Paul. I appreciate you support more than you might realize. You and Kristi allow me the opportunity to try new things, to help my students step out of the box, and have a voice in our classroom.

  2. Kristi Bishop says:

    I’m glad Jo-Ann that you try as many things as you do. Why would we stop that kind of enthusiastic experimentation, sharing and learning? I think we are at a lucky place in education that allows us to glimpse into many classrooms and many practices via twitter, blogs, skype etc. nothing will ever compete with those “field trip” visits, but I love that we can learn with and from even those people we have never met in person.

    • jcorbinh says:

      Thanks for commenting Kristi. I totally agree with you. I have learned so much this year from people that I have never met or have met only a few times. Here’s to changing times and good admin who provide us with opportunities to experiment, share, learn and grow.

  3. Thx for coming! I always learn so much from you – and one student in particular today commented on your feedback as being awesome – with regards to our Patterning Minecraft project. Kudos!


    • jcorbinh says:

      Thanks Brian. It was awesome to see your classroom and the way you run things. It was easy to see how your students respect you in the way they interacted with you. I did learn a lot and look forward to getting my students to touch base with yours on some patterning minecraft.

  4. adunsige says:

    Jo-Ann, I totally love this post, and really echo your thoughts here. It’s great to have this teacher/admin connection, as then we can all work together to do what’s best for kids. And I feel the same way as you when it comes to visiting classrooms and having others visit me. It’s a learning experience all around. We get to share ideas, discuss them, reflect on practices, and improve … and again, the people that benefit the most are the kids! So thank you for being one of those amazing educators both online and in person that I can learn from/with. I’m better because of people like you!


    • jcorbinh says:

      Thank you Aviva. Teaching with you in the last 9 years have really helped me to reflect on my practices, open my door for evaluation and think and try many things outside the box. What I truly love about working with you is that I never felt pressured to do what you were doing but because you inspired me it made me want to do better. If I haven’t said it before I would like to say THANK YOU.

      • adunsige says:

        Awww … thanks Jo-Ann! Trust me: the feelings are definitely mutual! I’m so glad that we can continue to learn from/with each other, even though we’re now at different schools. I love that you’ve joined the blogging world too — just more opportunities to reflect and share! 🙂


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