Aurora Education Association-West

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Information about Classroom Walkthroughs

Purpose of a Classroom Walkthrough

In part, the purpose of classroom walk-throughs is to evaluate how the Illinois State Learning Standards are incorporated into daily lessons. During a walk-through, the observer is to check for the following:

  • Is the state standard posted in the classroom?
  • Has the teacher written the lesson objective on the board?
  • Are students aware of what standard is being taught?
  • Are models of exemplary work displayed throughout the classroom?
Observers are encouraged to not only examine the walls and desks, but also a teacher's lesson plan book if one is readily available.

Timing of a Classroom Walkthrough

Walk-throughs are 3 to 4 minutes: Not any longer. Administrators are warned to resist the "temptation to become involved" in what is going on in the classroom.

Walkthrough Procedures

  • Observers need to make it clear to the teacher that a classroom walk-through is taking place. This may be done by wearing the "snapshot" pouch or by any other agreed upon signal.
  • The observer is encouraged NOT to take notes during the walk-through, but rather wait until after he/she has left the classroom to write his/her notes.
  • Reflective questions are to be given in only about 50% of the classroom walk-throughs.
  • Reflective questions should be delivered orally and in a neutral environment (NOT the principal's office) within 24 hours of the walk-through.
  • Central Office Administrators are DISCOURAGED from asking a reflective question as it may feel intimidating for some staff members.
  • The observer is NOT to engage the teacher in a discussion about the reflective question.
Points to Remember

There is no relation between formal teacher observation and a brief classroom walk-through.
If an administrator observes gross misconduct, he/she will respond appropriately.


The following documents may be useful when preparing for a walk-through.

Bloom's Taxonomy

Reflective Prompts