This summary was contributed by Priscilla Santos – @teacher_prix on Twitter! What a great job! Thank you!!!!!!

To be or not to be… Observed!

I have been observed a number of times since I started teaching. Those observations have happened for a number of reasons, ranging from DOS checking if I was following the school’s method accordingly to my asking a colleague’s help with a very unusual teenage group.

 

I believe in lesson observations if they have a clear purpose, and allow for some reflection – I don’t mind being observed at all. In fact, I really enjoy and respect feedback sessions.

However, being on the other side, playing the observer’s role is something yet to be figured out in my head. How much more should I know in order to be the person in charge of observing other teachers? How much reading should I have done? How should I tackle feedback? What puts me in a position of ‘criticizing’ someone else’s work? How picky, straight to the point or sensitive should I be? Will I ever be ready? How many more questions…?

Writing this #ELTchat summary has widened my views on the matter. Moreover, it has helped organize my ideas and – yes – it has given me not THE answers to all the questioning above, but the directions so I can find myself around.

 

Thanks #ELTchatters!

 

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:

 

Reasons for observations:

  • Professional development;
  • Qualitative;
  • Encouragement and support;
  • Diagnostic.

Factors that interfere with observations in general:

  • School budget;
  • All teachers teach same time slots;
  • Admin support.

Factors that affect the observation process:

  • Criteria;
  • The reason;
  • The observer;
  • The observee;
  • The students;
  • Pre meeting;
  • Feedback.

Types of observation:

 

  • Peer;
  • Videoed;
  • Informal;
  • Live streamed;
  • Formative;
  • Evaluative;
  • Compulsory;
  • Scheduled; (announced)
  • Unscheduled. (unannounced)

 

The chat closed with teachers brainstorming ideas to answer the main question:

 

@waykatewit: So, to make observation less stress @DaveDodgson – tell teachers we love them! #ELTchat

@JoeMcVeigh: RT @DaveDodgson: So, to make observation less stress & more for PD we need to…. #ELTchat make it feel safe for teachers.

@cerirhiannon: RT @DaveDodgson: So, to make observation less stress & more for PD we need to…. #ELTchat observe not evaluate, b open about hows n whys

@Marisa_C: RT @DaveDodgson: So, to make observation less stress & more for PD we need to…. #ELTchat? Take them for granted as part of our PD

@bcnpaul1: RT @cioccas: @DaveDodgson: To make observation less stress & more for PD we need to make it part of the culture & a shared thing btwn Ts  #ELTchat

@DinaDobrou: @DaveDodgson…to create a non-threatening environment in our schools where observations are sought after. Am I a dreamer here? #ELTchat

 

 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

 

@cybraryman1

Observations Page: http://tinyurl.com/4j7824o

Walk throughs: http://tinyurl.com/4phs2pf

@cerirhiannon

Light approach: http://bit.ly/g3XJVw

An experiment in lesson observations http://bit.ly/g3XJVw

@epicenterone

Does relevance matter? http://bit.ly/fSmlGW

@Becky_Ellis_

The IRIS camera: http://tinyurl.com/45bn9zm

Student privacy rules http://tinyurl.com/y8stkbw

@ELTmethods

Instruments for classroom observation: http://bit.ly/gvDkuz

@shamblesguru

Teachers observation page with links: http://bit.ly/eG4gzp

@Marisa_C:

Different ways of recording info during an observation http://bit.ly/hRslzg

Lighthearted feedback http://bit.ly/gc7vgg

@marekandrews

Peer Observation: http://www.ten.edu.uy/IMG/pdf/Research_on_Peer_Observation.pdf

New to ELTchat?

 

If you have never participated in an #ELTchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Wednesday on Twitter at 12pm GMT and 9pm GMT.  Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out this video, Using Tweetdeck for Hashtag Discussions!

by Priscilla Santos

@teacher_prix on Twitter!

What do you think? Leave a comment!