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Classroom Observations: Open Conversations about your Practice for student improvement. By Darryl Diment, Mandy Duthie, Kerryn Skuza, Sandra Beckworth How do we change things? There is some magic stuff being done by our best teachers. And yet there is not really an effort to transfer those skills to other teachers. One of the ways to change is through… feedback. You get peers to come in and see what you’re doing. If there is a digital camera in the classroom you can even review yourself. Bill Gates, October 2011
Learning Intentions Ø Build your knowledge of the OGPS classroom observation process Ø How to participate in open learning conversations Ø Further develop skills in giving and receiving feedback
Why classroom observation? • When professional learning communities demonstrate four key characteristics: § successful collaboration § focus on student learning § continuous teacher learning § teacher authority to make decisions regarding the processes of their own learning • … they can improve teaching practice and student achievement (Vescio et al. , 2008)
Classroom Observation @ OGPS
From a coach’s perspective - Darryl • • • Practice not personality! Time commitment Teachers are very hard on themselves. That lesson was… Teachers look for the negatives first It’s the right work The AITSL self assessment tool Our own survey was developed Important words for us are: Could, How, Can, Why, etc. Not assessment but an improvement tool Giving feedback only relating to the focus Developing protocols – watch, share within 48 hours Let’s me know what teacher’s need
From a teacher’s perspective - Kerryn • AITSL survey was too broad • It’s good that we continue to fine tune the classroom observation process when we encounter problems such as AITSL standards being too broad (proactive) • Filming was confronting at first but was a great tool for selfreflection • Everyone needs to be invested for the process to work effectively and this comes with the understanding from staff that it is non- judgemental
From a teacher’s perspective - Sandra Positive feedback leads to more confidence A coach can direct you to a different approach to a task You are always encouraged to try new things In our team we share the feedback and this can be used by all the team • Important that coaching feedback is timely and that you collaborate with the coach on a new focus • •
Some more comments • I don’t understand why we have to do this peer observation. • There isn’t enough time to do peer observation along with everything else. • Getting feedback from someone who doesn’t know anything about teaching my subject/my students is of little or no value. • I hope I get to choose the person and the class when I am being observed. • I feel uncomfortable about having someone in my room. Things might not go according to plan. • I think this is a great opportunity to get some useful feedback from another teacher. • I am surprised that I now look forward to the peer observation and the conversations after it. • Having a chance to talk about my actual teaching is fantastic. • Being involved in the peer observation has been challenging, but in a good way. • We work together and it feels very collaborative.
Barriers to Classroom Observation
Complete the Survey
Your Practice • From the survey write down an aspect of your teaching practice teaching around which you’d like some feedback.
Your Students Talk about how your focus relates to your students’ learning needs. • With a partner identify the student learning need connected to your own focus • What evidence do you have (or might you collect) about this need?
Coaching Observation Record
What does classroom observation look like at other schools? http: //mpegmedia. abc. net. au/news/fourcorners/video/201202 06_mcconville_288 p. mp 4
What is happening at your school? What are five things YOU need for an effective classroom observation? • Reflect and discuss
The roles in classroom observation • Give effective feedback • Having an open conversation • Asking reflective questions • Where to next?
Having an open conversation • • 1. State your point of view 2. state the grounds for your point of view 3. inquire – what are persons reactions and thoughts? 4. paraphrase and check your understanding? 5. evaluate/critique thinking 6. establish common ground 7. make a plan • Robinson (2010)
References: • Kaye Fletcher – Focussed Peer Observations Robinson, V. M. J (2011). Student-Centred Leadership. San Francisco CA: Jossey-Bass.