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Provisional Educator Support: Observations

Observations

Lead mentors can help facilitate observations in their school.

An increasingly vital component of a new educator support program is that educators participate in observations. The decision of how to conduct observations is best left to the participants at the school level to make.  The following points might help guide the development of a practice of observation.

Non Evaluative

The purposes of peer-to-peer observations are meant to be instructive and formative not evaluative.

Walk-through Observations

Walk-throughs are intended to be quickly implemented, non threatening, and focused on improving instruction which leads to improved student learning.  Feeney (2014) discusses ways to design and implement an effective system.  Whatever shape the observations take, it is important to remember to do the following:

  • Design a Protocol

This ensures that all participants know how to observe and how they will be observed.

  • Set a purpose

This lets participants know what they are looking for and what they are expected to demonstrate.

  • Remember to debrief and reflect

Doing this helps to ensure that the discussion will lead to meaningful and lasting change in practice.

Observation Forms

Observations forms can be found on our website under Mentor Resources.

Resources for observations

Feeney, E. (2014). Design Principles for Learning to Guide Teacher Walk Throughs. Clearing House: A Journal Of Educational Strategies, Issues And Ideas87(1), 21-29. Opens in a new window

Tschannen-Moran, B., & Tschannen-Moran, M. (2011, October 1). The Coach and the Evaluator. Retrieved August 31, 2015. Opens in a new window