Sunday, December 18, 2016

Teacher Observation Prep is the Best Gift

Teacher Observation prep might be the best gift you can give yourself.
A teacher observation is not stressful--if you're prepared.

That's why my mantra is: be prepared--at all times.   

I'll tell you how it came to me; and it starts with some stories from the trenches:

1)  A couple of years back, my super-confident teacher friend wanted to show off her self-assurance.  So she told our "Gotcha!" principal to come and observe her unannounced, at any time.  Now, this was a principal who reveled in surprising teachers when they least expected it, and loved seeing them blanch when caught doing the slightest thing off-leash. 

Well, our "Gotcha!" principal sauntered into my colleague's room--one fine Halloween Day.  It was right after our Halloween Crazy Hat assembly, complete with songs and a wild rumpus. 

I'm sure that my teacher friend put on a show of not being flustered, but I'm also sure she wasn't 100% prepared for what her students might do, pumped up on sugar and spice, and everything not nice for an observation lesson.

2)  Then there was that freezing, sleeting, dark January day--with me holed up in the boondocks of my portable trailer classroom, far from the comforts of our main school building.  My principal was absent that day, and observations were certainly not on the radar. 

Well, from out of the dark, windy, freezing rain, in stumbles my Assistant Principal.  Without a word, she settles down, opens her laptop and begins recording everything she sees and hears.

I being me--and my mantra being be prepared--I'm mid mini-lesson, with books about spiders clipped open, class-made charts comparing spiders to insects, anchor charts about writing nonfiction hanging all around, and a SMARTboard lesson with the learning target underway, and with enthusiastic kids deep into conversation mode.

I can't make these stories up.  They're real, and they've shaped my mantra, as well as the mind-set to make it happen.

If you're a classroom teacher, I hope you'll give yourself the greatest gift and be prepared for your own stories from the trenches...and be prepared with the perfect lesson at every moment.

I'm wishing you peace and goodwill--on Earth, and in your classroom.  Especially on teacher observation day.

No comments:

Post a Comment