Our superintendent's latest fad to push onto our administrators is the "smart walk", wherein administrators drop in on classrooms unannounced and observe what's going on. I have no objection to this; back in the early 90s, when I was a manufacturing manager, I did that very same thing. Back then we called it "management by walking around". I heard it was very big at Hewlett-Packard.
I prefer unannounced visits because then there's no expectation that I'll put on a dog-and-pony show. Last week my principal dropped in on one of my classes, observed and took some notes, and later sent me a short laudatory email. I got feedback!
Today my principal came in with his boss and an administrator from another high school. My students were working independently at the time, and I was wandering about answering their questions and making sure they were doing the assignment. The visitors didn't do the usual visitor routine of staying in the back and taking notes, though--no, they actually circulated among the students and interacted with them! It didn't occur to me to ask the students if the visitors were offering help or just asking questions--perhaps I should have, because when the suits left they huddled outside, not too far from my room, and seemed to be comparing notes for awhile.
I wonder what kind of feedback I'll get this time.