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Stories from the Field

California Casualty Awardees Nanci Dauwen: Learning Walks

Great educators have great stories. This series gives a glimpse of the ideas, practices, and experiences of the recipients of the NEA Foundation’s California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. Today, we’re sharing the words of Nanci Dauwen, an algebra instructor at Sheyenne High School in West Fargo, N.D..

In our school, we are working on student engagement. One of the biggest things I’ve taken away from the training is learning walks, where we go into a colleague’s classroom and observe student engagement and the processes that are happening in the classroom.

Afterwards, we give feedback to our colleague. The feedback is kept positive on things we see that we like and suggestions we have.

These learning walks are incredibly valuable for the fact that they don’t const anything and they provide feedback to help us grow and improve.

Traditionally, we would have an evaluation from an administrator maybe once or twice a year. They would come in for a short amount of time, and you often didn’t get a lot of constructive feedback.

Now, we’re trying to do our learning walks once per quarter at least. We have a wealth of information in our districts, teachers who have things to share and contribute. Let’s use it.

Meet more of the 2018 NEA Foundation awardees hereLearn more about the NEA Foundation’s Awards for Teaching Excellence criteria and nominations process.

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