If it's thinking that we're seeking, then it's thinking we must get to observe, and this requires seeing children over time. It means passing them in the hall before and after we have taught them, knowing their other teachers well, seeing them in different settings and guises and thus developing a broader repertoire of ways to approach them. This close knowledge helps us demand more of them; we can be tougher without being insensitive and humiliating. It also means we know their moods and styles - whom to touch in a comforting way and whom to offer distance and space in times of stress. It means that every adult in the school feels responsible for every kid and has insights that when shared can open up a seemingly intractable situation to new possibilities.
As I read this I thought of two things immediately. First, ever since we've bumped up enrollment (and added more lockers), I've felt that the hallways have gotten too crowded. I know they were crowded before, but it seems like we passed some kind of acceptable threshold where it was workable, and now it's not. I think it's probably rather hard to have conversations with students in the halls during passing time. Second, with the amazing amount of new staff we've added - as well as increasing staff a little bit - I really feel like we don't know each other nearly as well as we used to. While there are some positives to that - it gives us a chance to build a new community among the staff - I don't think that's happened yet. And if the passage above is correct - that we need to know their other teachers well to make the best possible learning environment for them - I think we've got problems.
Anybody else feel these same two things?