Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Official Observation

From the Star
So the time of the year is here. It's observation time. This time I was a lot more prepared. I got to choose the time and the day that the Assistant Principal would be coming to observe. I chose for her to come during reading, because this is the most structured time of my day and is first thing in the morning. There is always a plan and the rituals and routines are strong. Of course, I can't fit everything into that 90 minute reading block that I would like to, but still I chose this time because I figured this would be the time of the day when I would have the most control. So came the appointed day. All morning I worried about her coming and stressed and even freaked out a little bit. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but when I know someone important is coming to watch me and not just observe but critique me, I get really nervous.

When she arrived I had already began my lesson and I was feeling pretty confident. I was in the zone teaching and the students were learning. I did notice, as did she, that the same students were putting their hands up each time to answer questions. However, it wasn't a horrible thing because all of the other students were paying attention and following along with their graphic organizers. All in all I thought that the lesson went pretty darn good. I was ready to talk to her to see what she had to say. I was still nervous at the same time. Just because I thought it was good does not mean that it was really that good.

As I stepped into her office I took a deep breath and braced myself for what might be about to come. I was immediately put at ease when the first thing that she said was, "Wow, your class was really well behaved." You might be thinking they were well behaved because the assistant principal was in there, but let me tell you that does not phase my students! The VP actually stops by our classrooms quite frequently so this is not something special. Of course I didn't tell her that I told my class that she was there to observe their behavior so they better be at their best! Go me! As the meeting went on she complimented me on a lot of things and gave me some really good advice.

One of the strategies that she talked to me about that I really like is the "pair share." This is just a time after your whole group instruction to have the students talk among their tables and fill out a graphic organizers together to share with the class. Another great tip that she shared with me was to appoint someone from each group to be the reporter so that more students would be involved and so that you can hear from those who usually don't share. I like this idea because if you change the reporter each day you will have a chance to boost self-esteem while learning. I have just started to try some of the strategies that she talked to me about and I have found that they are working out great and with lots of practice I will hopefully be able to perfect them and use them regularly.

You better believe that I will be implementing those strategies the next time she comes. Actually I found them to be very helpful. So when the day was finally over, I was relieved - especially when I found out that she had given me all exemplary markings. Whew!
Well until next time... Have a great time forming all those unique little minds!

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