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School Principals Are Hardly Involved in Classroom Instruction

By: Krystle Crossman

A school principal has a lot of different duties that come with the job. Unfortunately these duties don’t always leave a lot of time for them to get involved with the education in the classrooms. A group of assistant principals lead by Principal Jennifer Hammond conducted a study of Grand Blanc High School which housed 2,700. They went to the classrooms and did a type of audit where they would observe the teachers in action.

There are 135 teachers are Grand Blanc. This made for over 100 visits to the classrooms for the group of assistant principals and Hammond. The research that Hammond is following for the observations says that they need to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes per observation in the classroom at least four different times to really get the data that they will need. The teachers have written evaluations done on the first two sets of visits that cover their lesson plans. After that they will sit down one on one with Hammond and go over their evaluations.

The reason that these walk-throughs are being done is so that the leaders of the school can help the teachers to come up with effective lesson plans for the students. They want them to be in the best position possible to give a great education. Hammond says that it is too often that principals have so many other job duties to perform that they don’t get to see the teachers in action and actually have very little say in the lessons that are taught in the classroom. In previous studies like this the walk-throughs proved to be very effective. The principals would then weigh in on the lesson plans and help where there was room for improvement. Student scores on standardized tests went up as well as their test scores and grades in the classroom itself.

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