Copyright 2016 Instructional Rounds: Lesson Observation & Analysis. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Fowler-Finn developed expertise with leading instructional rounds by working with the Harvard University team (before the first book on instructional rounds had been written) to implement this job-embedded professional development process in his own district. What followed has been years of work engaging with professional educators in three countries and authoring "Leading Instructional Rounds in Education", Harvard Education Press (2013) as a result of his wide experience. Tom provides all professional development services on site.
Tom approaches leading instructional rounds sessions by providing pre and post session support, joining clients in classroom observations, and acting as a critical friend throughout the process. Clients gain the capacity to be leading their own sessions under Tom's tutelage. The work of instructional rounds is demanding of professional educators - both the participants and the facilitator. Tom agrees to work only with schools/districts that are serious about ongoing job-embedded professional development, distributed voice and leadership, and taking accountability for the follow-up actions necessary to improve student performance.
As superintendent of the Cambridge Public Schools in Massachusetts, Tom and the professional staff used instructional rounds throughout the year, earning recognition as one of the most improved districts in the state. The power of job-embedded professional development is supported by research, and the power of instructional rounds to improve instruction and learning at scale has been documented. Tom has found that schools and districts with whom he works find similar results of improved student learning at scale. Many are leading instructional rounds on their own as part of ongoing professional development and gaining state recognition for improvement in student performance. The services Dr. Fowler-Finn provides are outlined below:
1.) An introductory Launch Session on the theory and practice of instructional rounds - This two-day inservice includes the nature of adult learning through the instructional rounds process, creation of network norms, acquisition of expert observation and lesson-analysis skills, a simulation of instructional rounds using video clips, and training of in-house "facilitators-to-be" so that clients can be leading instructional rounds on their own. 2.) Facilitation of instructional rounds sessions on-site in which Tom is leading and accompanying network members in every step of the process. 3.) Professional development "exercises" and PowerPoint presentations to improve client identified problems of student learning. Clients are free to use these tailored resources as they wish. Principals often find these resources invaluable as they are leading faculty meetings. 4.) Consultation, on-site and remotely, to assist participants to prepare for upcoming instructional rounds school visits. 5.) Customized services for job-embedded professional development follow-up actions that an individual professional, school, or school district may wish to take. 6.) Development of the internal capacity to improve instruction and learning at scale. Leading instructional rounds sessions makes little sense unless clients are committed to taking follow-up action. Tom ensures his availability to support the follow-up.