Harvard Instructional Rounds at SMUS

At SMUS we believe in life-long learning, and that extends to our teachers as well. From one-on-one mentoring and coaching to cross-campus collaboration between colleagues, SMUS is on the cutting edge of 21st Century Learning. Initiatives like The Learning Institute and focused Professional Development days offer teachers the opportunity to take a deeper look at their practice and consider different ideas or approaches.

In the summer of 2013, three of our Directors — Heather Clayton, Denise Lamarche and Cheryl Murtland — attended a training conference at Harvard University that introduced the concept of Instructional Rounds. Upon their return they piloted the programme with several teachers to test whether it could be implemented in the school. They are now halfway through the pilot and have discovered that the process is where the real learning occurs.

“The professional growth in the training we did at Harvard, and in the process of building an Instructional Rounds Practice here at SMUS, has been some of the greatest we have ever had,” says Heather. “It is an exciting way for educators to collaborate and visit classes across our K-12 school, with a view to discovering more about student learning and systemic change.”

The conversations throughout the year were rich and the learning was amazing! Heather, Denise and Cheryl wanted to try to capture some of the magic, so below is a trailer and a short documentary to give you a taste of what the teachers experienced. It is an inside look at the Harvard Instructional Rounds pilot programme at SMUS in the 2013-2014 school year. In it, teachers and administrators talk about the philosophy behind the practice, and what a typical Instruction Rounds day looks like.

You can also take a look at some of the practices that are being implemented in our classrooms at SMUS, like Mindfulness in the Middle School, student-led Parent/Teacher conferences at the Junior School and our amazing Experiential Programme in the Senior School.



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