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Learning By Observing Other Academy Teachers

Stay engaged and curious about your teaching by observing other teachers at the Academy. Many of your peers are excellent models of good teaching. The biggest benefit of watching another teacher’s class is seeing how students respond; watching students in action is the best indicator of effective teaching.

Arrange an observation with another teacher and use the following guidelines to get the most out of the experience:

  1. Be unobtrusive. If students ask, tell them you are there to learn from your peers, just as they learn from theirs. Do not participate in the lesson, as that will change it and distract you, the students and the teacher.
     
  2. Take notes in a 3-column format on the Observation Template. One column to record the time, one for what the teacher says and does, and one for what the students say and do.
     
  3. Record objective behaviors (not interpretations) whenever you can. For example: “2 students sleeping, 2 talking quietly in another language, 3 watching the teacher.” conveys more than “Most of the students were bored,” which may or may not be true.

    As you review your observation notes, look for effective teaching by identifying the following:

    —How many students were on task? (Doing exactly what the teacher expected them to be doing?)

    —Which teacher behaviors correlated with the most on-task time for students? Are there particular ways the teacher asked questions that elicited better discussion?

    —How did the teacher give directions?
     
  4. What was the point of the lesson you observed? Did students reach the desire outcomes? What was the evidence of them reaching or not reaching the outcomes?
     
  5. Be professional in your follow up. Thank the teacher who invited you in. Everyone loves a compliment but do not offer unsolicited feedback. Never discuss your observation with other teachers or students without explicit permission from the teacher you have observed.

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Download the Observation Template