3. Observer should record what the students do AND what the teacher does!

4. Observer should use a range of artifacts as concrete evidence to substantiate principles for analysis and assessment in the post observation.

Vague impressions or memories of a given lesson certainly don’t give a teacher and / or a her  supervisor any meaningful data for a team-learning / personal mastery opportunity.

What is perhaps even more dangerous for improving solution might be where the observer’s lens is half closed. By that I mean where the focus is ONLY on the teacher’s activities and less often where the focus is ONLY on the students’ activities.

I’m reminded of a lesson where I was to be observed where I had brought the class to the library to research projects re immigration. My supervisor got up after about five minutes and told me to tell him when I was “really” teaching (aka lecturing) so he could come back.

The various lesson observation models out there lately like Danielson and Marzano among others to a more or less degree re-focus the observer to recognize, record, and react to teachers’ behaviors and activities, students’, and the interaction between the two. And this is clearly a preferred systemic development because at the very least, doing so promotes a dialogue between teacher and observer where professional analysis, learning theory and management dynamics are seen in their systemic Rubik’s Cube.

The fourth premise noted above goes back to “Just the facts ma’am.”

Let’s reiterate and elaborate on what may constitute artifacts / evidence of the sum  of a lesson:

  1. The lesson plan itself
  2. Teacher questions
  3. Student answers
  4. Peer to peer interactions
  5. Homework
  6. Classroom projects and visual displays
  7. Student Portfolios
  8. Teacher modeling of expectations
  9. Rubrics

What else do you use?

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