Monday, October 29, 2012

The Secret To A Great Observation

Well, I don't actually have any secrets ... but I do think I might be onto something.

As anyone in our profession knows, we are observed constantly - at least during the first several years of our  teaching practice.

During student, student teacher and probationary status, we're observed dozens of times: By professors, cooperating teachers, peers, mentors, assistant principals and principals. And, at the very start of my career I was told that if you know an administrator is coming ... well, you'd better put on a darned good show.

I now am really rethinking this advice. First of all, with this showmanship approach the observer isn't necessarily seeing the real you, and what really goes on in your class everyday. That's the whole point, right?

But secondly, why put on a show if you are confident in how you are running your class?  Lots of content, technology, student interaction ... why deviate from such a script, if it's working every day in the classroom?

That's my big secret ... that's my big "lightbulb" moment. Just teach consistently, and let the chips fall where they may, observation-wise.

Because I think that at the end of the day, my administration just wants a reliable, consistent professional in the classroom ... pushing both content and critical thinking skills while displaying strong classroom management.

I'm sure there's a chance for some future observations to go wildly off track ... but that's okay. If I try my best, each day, the details (and observations) should take care of themselves.