At our staff meeting today, our principal discussed what he's looking for when he visits classrooms. He was very insistent that he's not there to "evaluate" teachers.
Why not? What's the big deal? Even if he pops in on a bad day, it's still a bad day! One would think he wouldn't base his entire judgement of a teacher's abilities on one short visit, and until he does so, I'll trust him not to. So I thought it was odd that he kept reiterating that he wasn't in our classes to "evaluate" us.
But he did tell us what he's looking at, and looking for. He's not watching the teachers, he's watching the students. He wants to see how engaged they are in learning, how much time they're given to talk amongst themselves about what they've learned (instead of just hearing everything from the teacher), and how they're conducting that talking.
I guess it can't hurt.