Embracing the Chance to Conduct a Teacher Observation

teacher observation
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A teacher observation is an ongoing assessment and evaluation of what is going on within and around an administrator’s school facility. This process should not take place on a one or two-time basis, but should be something that is done either formally or informally every day. Administrators should have a clear idea of what is going on in their buildings and within each individual classroom at all times. This is not possible without constant monitoring.

Administrators should enter a teacher’s classroom with the idea that they are a terrific teacher. This is essential because you want to build on the positive aspects of their teaching ability. It is just as important to understand that there are going to be areas in which every teacher can improve. A goal should be to build a relationship with each member of the faculty so that you can comfortably offer them advice and ideas on how to improve in areas where refinement is needed.

The staff always should be encouraged to a look for better ways and be ongoing in their pursuit of quality education for all students. Another important part of teacher observation is to motivate the staff to improve in every area of teaching. An administrator would benefit from having a large quantity of resources and strategies available in areas where teachers might want or need assistance.

Teacher observation is only a small part of an administrator’s daily duties. However, it is essential that to devote some time each day evaluating teachers informally. These visits will not be extraordinarily long, but will provide an administrator with a clearer idea of how the teacher goes about their daily duties.

It is essential that an administrator keeps proper documentation. Each time a teacher observation is conducted a note should be made that includes the date and, at least, a brief summary of what was observed. It is vital to keep accurate records of any observations. This is necessary in case you have a teacher who has areas of insufficiency and refuses to improve in those areas.

The main vision of teacher observation is to provide teachers with strategies and methods to improve in areas of weakness so that the best interest of the students is met in every classroom. An administrator will have to make some tough decisions. If a teacher refuses to try and improve, it is in the best interest of the students to replace that teacher. All students deserve the highest quality teacher than can give them an excellent education.  A poor and uncooperative teacher does not promote that type of quality.

In order to be fair to every teacher, there are some things they need to be familiar with before you begin observing them. They should have a clear idea of your goals, expectations, and the things you are looking for each time you visit their classroom. Without this clarity, teachers cannot be held fully responsible for their insufficiency.  Administrators should provide teachers with a copy of the observation rubric in advance of the observation. In addition, it would be advantageous to provide all teachers with some training concerning this process during a faculty meeting or professional development day.

An administrator needs to have an open door policy. This allows two-way communication to take place where teachers can address concerns and seek strategies and methods to improve in areas of weakness. It also allows administrator opportunities to praise teachers in areas of strength as well as to offer encouragement in areas where improvement might be needed. Furthermore, it allows an administrator to develop a better working relationship with their faculty by showing them that you care about them as both people and educators.

The vision of an administrator within the area of teacher observation is to monitor a staff that continually promotes the educational success of every student. If you have a teacher who is lacking in areas geared towards that vision, then you need to offer methods of improvement to that teacher. If the teacher refuses to make those improvements, then it is your legal and ethical duty to remove that teacher. Every student deserves the finest instruction possible, and a substantial part of a school administrator’s job is to have a building full of teachers who can provide them with that type of education.