When you're a teacher, there's nothing more nerve-wracking than the yearly observations. Being observed by site administrators and district management can be downright stressful, especially if you're not prepared for the event. As a teacher, you know that there's no way you can prepare for every possible scenario during an observation. However, there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome for your annual observation. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare.
Take a Proactive Approach
When you spend your days in front of a classroom full of students, you know what your strengths and weaknesses are . However, you also know that during an observation, sometimes things get turned upside down, and more of your weaknesses can be highlighted. That's why it's crucial that you take a proactive approach to your observation. Make a list of your shortcomings, especially those issues that you'd like to work on. Schedule a time when you can sit down with your site administrator and go over your perceived shortcomings. Ask your administrator to look for those issues during your observation, and to provide you with some input on ways to overcome those issues. It's also a good idea to have a trusted colleague come in and observe your teaching style for a few minutes. They can provide you with hints on how to improve your style, as well.
Put the Focus on the Students
When you're being observed, it can be easy to get side-tracked and lose your focus. Unfortunately, once that happens, it can be difficult to get back to on track, especially where the students are concerned. While you're being observed, be sure to keep the focus on your students. One way to do that is to actively engage each student throughout the observation. That way, you're dealing one-on-one with each student, which will make it more difficult to lose focus and get side-tracked.
Keep the Lesson Simple
When it comes to teacher observations, it can be tempting to try and make the lesson memorable. To do that, you might try to put more into than you actually need to. Once lesson plans get elaborate, it's easier for them to fall apart, especially when a key element doesn't go as planned. To avoid having your lesson plan fall apart right in the middle of your observation, keep the lesson simple. Focus on the basic concepts, and make everything clear and concise.