Teacher Driven Observation
Taking accountability of improving practice of self and others!
Try the empathy lens:
Request a team member to come and observe your class. Ask her to record specific data on the number of times you walk around the class.
Ask yourself what gives you a better insight - somebody telling you that you moved in the classroom vs somebody giving you data on the number of times you moved.
How did you feel during the observation and while receiving the post observation feedback? Did this experience help you to understand the value of data for refining your practice?
Whilst we always recognized the value of how teacher observations build teacher capacity, for the longest time we were doing it as a practice in which the onus for teacher development was more on the observer.
- Over the years, we had established the value of observations as an important part of our pedagogical practice and professional development.
- Though there was a conscious time-tabling of observations, we realized as a collective that we waited until the observer came to our class. At that time, it was not common practice that we sought out to be observed.
- Because the observations were erratic, there was not enough data to help us gather information and analyze school-wide patterns in the pedagogical practice.
Whilst we continued with the practice of teacher observation, we created the new observation format to add the layer that ‘our professional growth was our personal responsibility as well.’
there was an Observation protocol where teachers could take responsibility and accountability for the growth and development of self and others.
A process called Teacher Driven Observations wherein:
- An online interface (based on Google Forms) was designed to provide the structure for recording and sharing teacher observation data;
- teachers decided which aspect of their practice they wanted to improve and chose their data collector as well;
- Before the observation, both the teacher and data collector met to refine the focus question and schedule the observation;
- Post the observation, the data collector shared the data with the teacher focusing only on those areas for which he was requested to collect data;
- After a couple of weeks, the data collector followed up with a cold call to observe and confirm the desired shift in the practice of the teacher.
The fallout of this process was that the teacher team moved from looking at observation as a responsibility to being observed as an accountability! It also helped in analyzing the trend and patterns of pedagogical practice across the school.
Here is What we Do
This video helps make visible the process of Teacher Driven Observations from ‘intention’ to ‘action’.
The video above will show you what happens before the observation, how the observation is conducted, and the post-observation discussion. You will also see an example of how the data is used to collect school-wide insights.
Pre observation video:
Observe the way in which teachers share focus questions and set expectations for data collection.
Post observation video:
Notice how the teachers share insights and data and collectively come up with strategies.
What not to do video:
Focus on the different challenges that teachers can experience during feedback and understand how to deal with these.
Meet the Stakeholders
Eduhero Fozia Contractor has been with the Riverside School for over 12 years, teaching Mathematics, Business studies and Accountancy to students in Key Stage 3. She loves using hands-on real life experiences, games, manipulatives and problem solving scenarios to maximize student engagement.
Watch Fozia share tips and guidelines for planning and conducting Teacher Driven Observations.
Watch Fozia share the impact that being observed by a data collector has had on her practice.
Tips for the Leader
- As a leader, ask team members to come and observe your practice. Respect the feedback that you receive from them. This will build authenticity and acceptability for the process.
- When you have a new teacher on the team, start off by asking her to be the data collector for her peers rather than being observed herself. This will help her build ease and not feel judged when her sessions are observed.
- Choose a collective focus question with your team for analyzing across the school or KeyStage. This will help in enhancing the pedagogy and the teaching practice of the entire team.
- Once a month, share the trends that are emerging about practice with your team.
Share with us your experience of how you have used this process in your context, any challenges you might have faced or just inspire us with your story :-)
Write us any questions you have about this process, and we’ll get back to you.
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