Teaching Tales: Getting Observed

So a few weeks ago I was observed 3 times and had a surprise visit from my principal. Now I am not some teacher who gets all bent out of shape over people coming into my room to watch what I do but this many observations did get me thinking.

Most teachers hate observations, afraid someone is going to catch them doing something “wrong.” Granted, this is how some school administrators treat them and that is just plain bad educting. But my observations have been a mixed bag: a college student in a teacher-training program, a new AP Art History teacher in the county, my Assistant Principal, and my Principal (although my principal’s visit was super short).

Every time someone was observing me I was more aware of what I look like, sound like, and act like while teaching. Not in a negative, self-conscious way but I was self-aware of what that person, with their own point-of-view, is seeing in me. And I’m glad I was “forced” into this self-reflection.

This many observations in a short amount of time caused me to sit down and address how I teach, what I can do better, or what I do well and can help other teachers with. I think too many of us do not stop to self-reflect because we are afraid what we will see in the mirror, afraid we are not adequate enough.

Even though teachers only get “observed” once in a blue moon, they are truly observed by their students every single day. Mentally try to step into your student’s shoes to reflect on what works and what doesn’t. I am certainly no teaching expert but this is something I’ve learned in the past couple of weeks and I think its made me better already.

JMF

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