These teacher observation tips will be great for new teachers or veteran teachers who want to try something new.
True story: my principal once observed me at the end of the day on a Friday. Not only was the timing awful, but it was also my most difficult class of 7th graders. I couldn’t help but panic. It felt like a set up. If I have had these ideas in mind, it would have gone much better.
8 Teacher Observation Tips
- Use the “I do, we do, you do” gradual release method. This will ensure kids get a quick review of the topic. It will also help them feel confident while participating throughout the observation.
2. Something collaborative is great to observe. An activity such as four corners where students travel around the room (agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, disagree) would be great. Similarly, scavenger hunts are fun for observations. These activities get kids excited to learn, which is great for your administrator to see.
3. Jigsaw activities are also effective. You can break students into differentiated groups and assign a small part of a larger task to each group. At the end of the lesson, the students will present.
4. Integrate technology. Often, administrators are looking for this and judge you based on your use of tech tools. Try a new resource type like digital task cards.
5. Prepare your students in advance. Consider offering a small incentive for great behavior during an observation. However, don’t do what you normally wouldn’t do. Observers can tell when you’re putting on a “dog and pony show,” and the kids will know it too.
6. Tell your students that you aren’t being observed—they are. This advice was given to me by a veteran teacher my first year. I think it helps!
7. Keep in mind that an observation is an opportunity to grow. If your administrators are doing it right, it will serve you well no matter what happens. Don’t be discouraged!
8. For Zoom distance learning observations, try something engaging like Kahoot, a digital escape room, or something that gets the kids participating. Have you tried this fun engagement technique over Zoom? It is sure to get kids to speak up on the calls.
Read more about Zoom teaching best practices here!
What are your best tips for teacher observations? Let me know in the comments!