One of my favorite parts of being a principal. I get to watch and enjoy the complex interactions of teaching and learning.
Is it always spot-on? No. Does one observation represent an educator’s complete repertoire? No. But if we’re always of a Growth Mindset, then the conversation is valuable, necessary and best for students and teachers.
I try to come at it from Coach rather than Judge. Asking questions, getting a better picture of pre-, post- and in between nuances I missed. We are often our own worst critic in the classroom. It’s palpable when a lesson is not going well. Changing course takes confidence and experience.
I enjoy the post-observation conversations and wish there was more time for these. It’s so rejuvenating to talk pedagogy, strategy and students. I learn a lot about the teachers I work with and the students we serve.
What is my goal around teacher observation for this school year? Demand high quality from myself as Coach. Do not rush the process. Ask better questions. Get teachers connected who might compliment one another and push each other forward.
And finally, who is my Coach, not Judge? I should find a Coach for myself. There’s always room for growth.