Lesson observations, by themselves, are not an out-of-the-box solution. Nevertheless , they can be an opportunity to officially go into classes, and make note of which educational procedures are proving to be most successful and then discover ways to develop them further – to assist improvement in student learning. They are a lot more than only a walkthrough, where you have a quick overview of learning, more often than not taking just a few minutes, and consequently losing most of the framework and nuance of the teaching.
If for simply no other reason, observations are an opportunity to get on to the same web page with staff personal goals and collect ideas and good practice which can be set up for future teacher guidance.
Make the most of lesson observations like this:
1) Review previous lesson observations, prior to going in. This enables you to know inside out what the teacher is focusing on and if they’re building on earlier recommendations.
2) Talk about the lesson plan with the teacher. Give them time to take on board what you noticed and with some questions you can help fill up gaps throughout your discussion. Have positive expectations, rather than presuming the negative. Invite the teacher to give feedback and listen to their point of view before you tell them what to look for when observing a lesson.
3) Give the teacher time to think about the lesson in view of the questions provided, so are there no surprises for them.
4) If it feels as though something important has been missed, rather than assuming the teacher didn’t get it done, ask a question and allow them time to answer before judging.The ame applies when providing effective feedback to teachers – make sure of your facts before offering any criticism.
5) See the good points in the lesson. Actually, go out of your way to look for what’s good. When you have a relationship with the teacher (having observed them before) check on things which have improved and make a point of drawing their attention to them. Whenever possible use lesson observations examples, esepcially where Good Practice has been identified, to help the teacher.
6) Plan the observation, as objectively as you possibly can. What do you observe? When do you see it? What do you hear? When do you hear it? It requires some practice, but planning an observation of a lesson allows you to sit back and just take in what’s happening without forming an opinion.
7) Keep the discussion open. Following the post-observation discussion, give the teacher the time to examine what you have written and request a dialogue about the contents if necessary. It generally does not have to end with this discussion, it can go futher for continuous improvement. Keep on having casual discussions about strategies for improvement. Follow-up of an observation of the lesson is vital, especially with trainee teacher lesson observations.
8) Don’t just explain what isn’t working. Talk about straightforward, useable approaches that can improve whatever wasn’t working. The opinions you supply to the teacher can be a major factor in bringing about learning and growing. So do some research before the discussion and provide real resources in the write-up.
9) Assure teachers that you will be on their side and that you want to help them improve. It really is a nerve-wracking experience for anybody to have their supervisor or manager come and watch them. Not because they’re doing something amiss, but because they would like to be great all the time. But of course no individual is his/her most effective every single day … so stay positive and helpful for the most effective lesson observation feedback.