Free Download: 10 Questions for Better Feedback on Teaching

All Posts by justinbaeder

Matt Renwick—Digital Portfolios in the Classroom: Showcasing and Assessing Student Work







Matt Renwick joins Principal Center Radio host, Justin Baeder, to discuss his publication: Digital Portfolios in the Classroom: Showcasing and Assessing Student Work

Interview Notes, Resources, & Links

Purchase Digital Portfolios in the Classroom: Showcasing and Assessing Student Work
Visit Matt's Website

About Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is principal at Mineral Point Elementary in Wisconsin, and the author of several books, including Digital Portfolios in the Classroom: Showcasing and Assessing Student Work.

Dr. Kimberly Tyson—Blended Vocabulary for K-12 Classrooms: Harnessing the Power of Digital Tools and Direct Instruction

Kimberly Tyson joins Principal Center Radio host, Justin Baeder, to discuss her publication: Blended Vocabulary for K-12 Classrooms

Interview Notes, Resources, & Links

Purchase Blended Vocabulary for K-12 Classrooms: Harnessing the Power of Digital Tools and Direct Instruction

Visit Kimberly's Website

Follow Kimberly on Twitter @tysonkimberly

Visit Angela's Website

Follow Angela Peery on Twitter @drangelapeery







About Dr. Kimberly Tyson

Dr. Kimberly Tyson is a former teacher, administrator, and literacy consultant, and is currently an education specialist with Solution Tree. She's the co-author, with Angela Peery, of Blended Vocabulary for K-12 Classrooms: Harnessing the Power of Digital Tools and Direct Instruction, a valuable resource to help classroom teachers and leaders use effective vocabulary strategies in classrooms and integrate digital tools and apps for instruction, practice, and review.

Chris & Courtney Daikos—Trauma-Informed Tier I Supports

Chris and Courtney Daikos join Principal Center Radio host, Justin Baeder, to discuss their work with Continua Consulting Group, where they help schools and their communities implement trauma-informed multi-tiered systems of support.

Links and Resources

Visit the Continua Consulting Website

About Chris and Courtney Daikos

Chris and Courtney Daikos are the co-founders of Continua Consulting Group, where they help schools and their communities implement trauma-informed multi-tiered systems of support.

Teachers Wanted for High-Performance Instructional Leadership Certification

I'm looking for a few teachers to “guest star” in the video training content for our forthcoming program, the High-Performance Instructional Leadership Certification.

I will play the role of administrator, and will be modeling instructional feedback conversations with real teachers based on real videos of their classroom practice.

The ideal candidate:

  • Is currently a K-12 classroom teacher for all or part of the day (any subject or grade; teaching principals OK)
  • Plans to pursue an instructional leadership role in the near future (or is already pursuing such a role)
  • Is willing to make two video recordings of own teaching practice (10-20 minutes each), which may appear in the training program in edited form
  • Is willing to participate in two 1:1 feedback conversations via videoconference (30-45 minutes each), which will be recorded, edited, and used in the training program
  • Is familiar with the Danielson Framework or a similar teacher evaluation rubric


  • $250 cash stipend, paid after filming
  • Free access to the full High-Performance Instructional Leadership Certification program ($995 value)
  • Free access to our forthcoming Ascend career coaching program for school administrators ($3,588 value)

I estimate that the time commitment for this project will be in the range of 3-5 hours.

In our conversations, which will be recorded for the program, we'll use the High-Performance Instructional Leadership model described in my book, Now We're Talking! 21 Days To High-Performance Instructional Leadership.

We will use the language of your instructional framework—including your teacher evaluation rubric and any curriculum or pedagogy expectations relevant to your school and subject—to have evidence-based conversations about your practice.

These conversations will not be evaluative in nature, and will not include a rating; however, we will borrow terminology from your evaluation framework to discuss the evidence from the videos you provide.

Filming will take place in September 2017. You will be able to take anything “off the record” at your discretion if you're not comfortable with it appearing in the final program.

You are responsible for following applicable school and district policies, as well as laws applicable in your area, about filming in your classroom. We will blur or otherwise conceal students' faces and names as needed.

If you're interested, please email me at [email protected] with information about your current teaching responsibilities, the evaluation rubric/framework your school uses, and other relevant facets of your professional situation.

Ken Spero—Ed Leadership SIMs: Training Simulations for School Leaders

Ken Spero joins Principal Center Radio host, Justin Baeder, to discuss his work with Ed Leadership SIMs: Training Simulations for School Leaders

Interview Notes, Resources, & Links

Learn more about Ed Leadership SIMs at

About Ken Spero

Ken Spero is CEO of Ed Leadership SIMs, established in partnership with the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn GSE). With more than 30 years of experience designing simulations across a variety of industries, Ken currently works with districts, universities, and other organizations to strengthen their leadership pipelines and reduce leadership churn.

How To Document Quick “No Feedback” Visits in Repertoire

Sometimes when you're visiting classrooms, you don't want to provide feedback.

Perhaps you didn't see anything you felt compelled to comment on, or perhaps you weren't able to stay as long as usual.

Whatever the reason, it's often useful to document visits to classrooms, even when you don't take any notes or provide any feedback.

In our web-based app Repertoire, you can document visits of any length—from a brief pop-in to a full formal observation.

Here's how you can document a classroom visit, even if you don't take any notes, and don't want to email the teacher.

1. Create A Template

In Repertoire, click Templates, then Create Template.

Give your template a descriptive name that will easily come to mind when you're making a brief visit to a classroom, such as “quick visit.”

In the Subject and Content fields, put “n/a” or whatever you'd like.

Click Save to finish creating your template.

2. Use Your Template

Select this template when documenting a visit with no notes and no feedback.

This will save you the trouble of filling something in the Subject and Message fields, which can't be blank. It'll also help you distinguish visits in which you purposefully didn't takes notes from those that, say, were interrupted by an emergency.

3. Save as Draft or Hit Send & Discard Email

Then, you can either click “Save and continue editing” and leave the entry as a draft; or, you can click “Send” but then close the email when it opens in your email program, without sending it.

Clicking “Save and continue editing” to save the entry as a draft may be helpful for quickly seeing which visits had feedback and which were just pop-ins with no notes/feedback. Here's how they'll appear in your list of entries in Repertoire:

Note: You can also use the radio button on the Add New Entry screen to indicate whether an entry contains feedback:

Another Idea: Send A Quick Note

It's not a bad idea to send a quick email of acknowledgement when you visit a teacher's classroom, even if you don't have any feedback.

Repertoire's template feature makes this very easy:

As you can see, Repertoire will even fill in the teacher's name using template variables:

Try Repertoire

If you're already a Pro Member, you can login to Repertoire here.

If you aren't yet a member, you can try Repertoire for 30 days for just $1.

Try Repertoire for $1 $19month after 30 days—cancel any time

How To Track Your Classroom Visits

When I was a new principal, I spent a lot of time and effort figuring out how I wanted to do walkthroughs.

I knew I wanted to visit classrooms, but…

  • what app should I use?
  • How should my form look?
  • How should I structure my feedback?

Those may be important issues…but first things first.

I was missing a more fundamental question: How often was I visiting each teacher?


I assumed I was getting around to every teacher every week or two.

After all, I tried to visit classrooms every day. Rarely (I thought) did a day go by when I wasn't spending time in classrooms.

Then I decided to check my records.

In reality, I was systematically over-visiting the “easy” classrooms:

  • The classrooms closest to the office
  • The classrooms where I felt most welcome
  • The classrooms where I was unlikely to see anything troubling

And I was unintentionally avoiding the “tough” classrooms:

  • Teachers with performance issues
  • Teachers who didn't especially want me in their rooms
  • Teachers who had unusual schedules or physically isolated classrooms

Never did I sit down and say to myself “I really want to get into classrooms this year, but only certain classrooms. I think I'll just visit the most pleasant and most convenient classrooms, and avoid any that might be a hassle or give me extra work to do.”

That wasn't my intent at all, but the outcome was the same: Some teachers saw me almost every week, while others went weeks or even months without a visit.

This pattern of avoidance is completely natural, so if you've been doing the same thing, don't feel bad. We all do it.

And the remedy is simple: start keeping track.

3 Tools for Tracking Visits

Keeping track of your visits to classrooms doesn't have to be difficult.

Here are three simple options—it doesn't matter which one you use; what matters is that you use something, and start keeping track, to push back against your natural tendency to avoid certain classrooms.

The simplest way to track your visits is to just print a staff list—you probably already have one handy, so get a fresh copy and start recording your visits.

For now, just put the date (and perhaps the time of day) by each teacher's name when you visit.

This isn't an especially good way to track your visits long-term, but it'll get you started.

If you want to prompt yourself to visit teachers in a certain order, you might consider one of the other options.

Set A Goal

Finally, as you visit classrooms this year, work toward a specific goal.

We all want to be in classrooms “as much as possible.” That's not specific enough to guide your choices on a daily basis.

Life will get in the way. People will call you back to the office. Your schedule will fill with other meetings.

If you want to get into classrooms, be intentional. Set a specific goal that you can fight to achieve every day.

So here's my recommendation: strive to get into every classroom within a week—the first week of school, or the first week after you're reading this. It doesn't matter whether school is just starting, you're halfway through the year, or it's almost over.

Just start. Get into classrooms. Keep track.

And when you've made it around to everyone, I have something special for you:

Visit every teacher in your school, and I'll send you a limited-edition #EveryClassroom sticker while supplies last.

PJ Caposey—Making Evaluation Meaningful: Transforming the Conversation to Transform Schools

PJ Caposey joins Principal Center Radio host, Justin Baeder, to discuss his publication: Making Evaluation Meaningful: Transforming the Conversation to Transform Schools

Interview Notes, Resources, & Links

Purchase PJ's book Making Evaluation Meaningful: Transforming the Conversation to Transform Schools

About PJ Caposey

PJ Caposey is a speaker, author, superintendent, and former high school principal in Illinois. He's the author of numerous articles and three books, including Making Evaluation Meaningful: Transforming the Conversation to Transform Schools

Visit #EveryClassroom The First Week of School

What's the most important thing for a leader to do in the first week of school?

Among a zillion tasks, it's this: Visit every classroom.

In fact, let's make it a hashtag:

Sure, everyone tries to do it. Most people probably end up visiting most classrooms.

But let's get serious: let's visit every classroom in the first full week of school.

You can even give yourself a few days to deal with opening-of-school emergencies. Start on the 2nd or 3rd day if you like.

But in short order, get out of the office and get into classrooms.

And don't stop till you've visited #EveryClassroom.

Tips for Visiting #EveryClassroom

  1. Visit systematically—a department or grade level at a time 
  2. Keep track—print a staff roster, or have your secretary help, so you don't skip anyone
  3. Don't give yourself any homework yet—just show up
  4. Don't evaluate teachers or provide feedback—that can come later

For now, focus on getting around to every teacher in your school. Just make an appearance, so no one is surprised to see you in October.

Be friendly, say hi, pay attention, and build relationships.

As a bonus, you'll have a great deal of information and context you wouldn't have without these visits. So make it happen!

We'll have more on #EveryClassroom soon, including a way you can track your progress.

If you're on Twitter, use the hashtag #EveryClassroom and mention me (@eduleadership) to let me know you're in.​ 

Whether you start school on Monday or not for several more weeks, I hope this is the year you make it happen!​


1 2 3 5