Opening doors to observations (69 out of 365) #blogaday #sol15

SOL day 18slice of life logoObservations are a huge help for allowing teachers to grow. In our program, we had supervisors come in every few weeks and watch us teach. The advice afterwards was the best part! It was very nerve-wracking for the first one, but eventually, I barely noticed him at the back of the room. This post stood out to me because experienced teachers can still be improved, and having someone else watch you helps with the small things you might not pay attention to when you teach.

Teaching the Teacher

DSC_0230 Image by author


For my love of going into other people’s classrooms, I always feel a sense of dread when it comes time to do the formal observations. There’s always a tendency to ‘put on a show’ rather than just ‘do your thing.’

I’m wondering why that is.

Fear of stuffing up  – those lesson plans I’ve made almost always end up being stuffed up by an expected curve ball. Technology that always works sometimes doesn’t.  A kid is having a moment. You get tongue-tied.

Fear of negative judgement – Teaching is a deeply personal activity and one that requires huge amounts of emotional investment if you are doing the job right.  Putting yourself out there opens yourself up to the risk that someone might not like what you are doing requires strength.

I’ve been in schools where observations just happened, a senior leader would plonk themselves in the room unannounced…

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2 thoughts on “Opening doors to observations (69 out of 365) #blogaday #sol15

  1. Planned observations are a bit nerve-wracking, but I agree they are very valuable when done well. Our school has moved to a mini-observation system. The administrator makes 10 unannounced mini-observations. The idea is that they get a better idea of what the classroom, with its natural ups and downs, looks like over the course of the year at different times of day, classes, seasons, etc. Jury is still out on this one, but it’s definitely less of a dog and pony show!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As the literacy coach in my building, I am in and out of classrooms all of the time. Observing in classrooms is one part of what I do during a coaching cycle, and while I discuss the lesson with the teacher, it is through a reflective and learning lens, rather than an evaluative one. Though they may not realize it, I learn just as much as the teachers I coach when I am in their classrooms. This type of professional learning is among the most effective if people are willing to put in the time and schools are willing to support it.

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