How can we make observations less stressful and more a part of ongoing professional development #ELTchat Summary 23/03/2011
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.
Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:
Reasons for observations:
- Professional development;
- Encouragement and support;
Factors that interfere with observations in general:
- School budget;
- All teachers teach same time slots;
- Admin support.
Factors that affect the observation process:
- The reason;
- The observer;
- The observee;
- The students;
- Pre meeting;
Types of observation:
- Live streamed;
- Scheduled; (announced)
- Unscheduled. (unannounced)
The chat closed with teachers brainstorming ideas to answer the main question:
As ever, there were some great links shared:
Observations Page: http://tinyurl.com/4j7824o
Walk throughs: http://tinyurl.com/4phs2pf
Light approach: http://bit.ly/g3XJVw
An experiment in lesson observations http://bit.ly/g3XJVw
Does relevance matter? http://bit.ly/fSmlGW
The IRIS camera: http://tinyurl.com/45bn9zm
Student privacy rules http://tinyurl.com/y8stkbw
Instruments for classroom observation: http://bit.ly/gvDkuz
Teachers observation page with links: http://bit.ly/eG4gzp
Different ways of recording info during an observation http://bit.ly/hRslzg
Lighthearted feedback http://bit.ly/gc7vgg
Peer Observation: http://www.ten.edu.uy/IMG/pdf/Research_on_Peer_Observation.pdf
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by Priscilla Santos
@teacher_prix on Twitter!
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