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Peer Observation

posted Sep 14, 2019, 11:42 PM by HSD Principal
Over the next two weeks, all teachers will be determining their teacher growth goals for the year and beginning to plan on how to achieve them. One simple and free way to grow as a teacher is to observe other teachers at work and have others observe you. We all have our own blind spots - especially when it comes to our practices. Having an additional set of eyes in your class can help you realize things you never would have otherwise. It's also a good starting point for discussion (e.g. "Why did you include that activity?" "What could I have done better to respond to that student?"). 

To get you thinking, here are some articles about teacher peer observations:
All of the linked articles are short and can be read quickly, so instead of me summarizing them for you, I'd encourage you to take a few minutes and read through them. 

Take some inspiration from teacher Ben Fabian. Each year, he posts an open invitation for anyone to come observe his class at any time. But beyond welcoming observation, he asks for feedback on specific questions:
  • Can students describe what they are working on and why they are working on it? (This assumes observers are welcome to interact with students while in the room and that it is unlikely a lecture will be happening at the time.)
  • Are my activities well scaffolded to help students of all abilities?
  • Do my activities in class encourage engagement and collaboration?
  • Are there ways I can better use technology to achieve the goals of the activities in my class?
As you plan your teacher goals for this year, consider what practices you would like feedback on and plan on making those known to your peers. Also, be willing to observe and be observed at any time. We all get better by working together and helping each other.