Way back in January of 2012, my awesome wife, Jenifer, sent me an email with a quote that has stuck with me every school day. Here it is.
"Make time to walk around the office to talk to people face to face. Your team needs to hear from you personally."
In a google search, I was unable to find the person who I could give credit for the quote, but I did find a link to an awesome blog entitled "Management By Wandering Around" from mindtools.com that made me think even more. I'll let you read the blog on your own if you are interested. But now, back to the quote.
In my time as principal at Merton Intermediate School, I have encouraged staff to open classroom doors, invite others in, and invite themselves in. I have modeled that, or at least I hope that I have, so much so that people know that one of the last places to find me, especially when the lights are out, is in my office.
But it is still a struggle to get staff to visit other classrooms. I have offered to cover classes for the visits to occur but few have taken me up on my offer. I remind them, almost monthly, and the common response is, "Yeah, I need to do that."
So what are the roadblocks?
I am passionate about the fact that we need to get in classrooms to learn from one another. As one of our wise Merton teachers, Brian Fleischman said, "We are our best resources." I'm looking for suggestions to make this a reality. We need to get out of our rooms! Does anyone have any ideas?