Monday, 30 April 2007

Observing a lesson... what a topic!

What do you think you should say when first going to observe a lesson? From my humble point of view, I've suggested some things we could say before observing a lesson so the teacher we are observing and we get along with each other.


  • Who I am
  • When I want to visit
  • What is that I’m going to pay attention to during the observation
  • How I’m going to behave during her lesson (‘I won’t be an intruder)
  • I can show her the task I’m going to do


  • Identify myself to the T
  • Clarify date, timetable conflicts
  • So that the T doesn’t feel threaten by my observation.
  • The T can pretend I’m not there and behave the way she always does
  • The T knows exactly what I will be concentrating on

And you, what would you add or change?

Eager to know your answers.



Gladys Baya said...

Some researchers believe, Lore, that letting the teacher know what you plan to observe is bound to affect her teaching, thus making "natural" observation impossible... What do you think about this?

I also wanted to ask you:
Do you think there might be any advantages to the teacher not "behaving the way she usually does", precisely because there is an observer in class?

Looking forward to reading your answers!


Loreley said...

It could be that she would feel rather unnatural but it depends on the person you are observing. I believe that if a teacher is anxious and doesn't know why you are there, she might behave differently anyway.
As regards your second observation, I think the teacher is not likely to behave as usual (at least at the beginning) because, like it or not, you have someone that doesn't belong in the every day class. So it is very difficult to see when a person is behaving in the ordinary way. I would love to be a fly and see what some teachers "really" do.
The bottom line is that observing a lesson will be always profitable, no matter whether the teacher is performing for the observer or behaving in her usual way.

Gladys Baya said...

My esperience, Lore, has been that I end up teachingmy class a better lesson when there is an observer around... Reeling observed leads me to monitor my teaching more enthusiastically!
I guess the key difference would lie in whether the teacher just "feels observed", or actually ends up "teaching for the observer", instead of just teaching her class (as on any other day!).

Enjoy sitting in on lessons!