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Teachers and administrators often spend fruitless hours scouring journals, library shelves, in- ternet sites, and advertisements in hopes of finding “the next big idea” without realizing the myriad resources that are available within their own building among their own colleagues. All too often, divisions and schools throw their collective efforts and resources in developing “novice” teachers while neglecting to build upon the foundation of instructional veterans and leaders who are realizing great levels of success.

The principal, as instructional leader facilitating peer observations in an efficient, organized, and effective manner, can carefully cultivate a vision of collaboration, a culture of trust, and an atmosphere of celebration and success that ultimately strengthens instruction and thus benefits the entire school community. However, a successful leader will strive to “make this happen” rather than waiting for effective peer observations to occur naturally by themselves.

In fact, numerous school principals do encourage peer observations. Some arrange for sub time or mandate these to happen along with myriad other professional considerations. However, technology and teamwork are the key components to enabling peer observa- tions to truly see “organizational transformation happen” (Reeves, 2008, p. 78). The principal should incorporate this practice into the school by emphasizing the following four compo- nents through the lens of technology and teamwork:

1. Use Technology to Collect Data and Examples from Within the Building

Many principals, coordinators, and lead teachers are charged with conducting observations, ranging from four minute “walk throughs” to full-length observations. This step is critical as it will provide the leader with a baseline of current practices, successes, and growth areas. The focus should primarily be on student engagement and on curriculum pacing. Stronge (2002) notes that “successful student engagement has important affective benefits for students” and the principal should look to “share this out” with the greater faculty.

After getting a sense of engagement and curriculum and instruction consistency, the princi- pal should begin to look for a “highlight reel” to share with the faculty. In a web-based world, the use of digital cameras and a school web page enable teachers and administrators to “share out” successes and present to the school community student successes from within the school in an engaging manner. The web can also be used to organize faculty and student resources for research and instruction, to showcase and highlight events and accomplish- ments inside and outside the classroom, to organize and manage resources.

The use of FLIP cameras can enable an active “science fair for grown-ups” (Reeves, 2008, p. 184) in which best practices and teaching strategies are highlighted and celebrated by the

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