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Tips & Tricks: Teaming up for Teaching Observations

01 Apr 2024 9:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Authored by April Salerno, Teacher Ed SIG Chair

The phrase “teaching observation” can prompt many emotions: nervousness, worry, anticipation, maybe even dread. But teaching observations hold great potential for helping us to grow as teachers, especially when they’re conducted in healthy, collaborative partnerships. Teaching observations can help us see what isn’t visible to us when we’re busy in the act of teaching, and they can offer opportunities for us to learn from colleagues. Here are some tips that might help take the scare out of teaching observations:

  • Team up with a trusted colleague. Find someone you respect and that you can learn from. Or ask different people who are real pros at different skills to observe those particular aspects of your teaching.
  • Talk ahead of time about the “ground rules” for your observations. What protocol will you use? What will the goal of the observation be? What questions does the observed person want to know about their teaching? Discuss what observational data might be reported to others, and what feedback is just for the two of you to consider.
  • Observe each other regularly, so you get used to observations and so you can observe for changes over time.
  • Consider whether video-recording would help you see things that you miss while you’re teaching.
  • Ask students to take notes on how you teach a particular skill or how you facilitate a certain activity and get their feedback.
  • After you receive feedback from the observation, try to identify one piece of feedback where you can make a change.

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