Observation During Independent Work?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by mathemagicteacher, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. mathemagicteacher

    mathemagicteacher New Member

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    Apr 21, 2019

    Hi everyone, I’ll be starting my first year of teaching next year and I have a question about observations from evaluators.

    The teacher I completed student teaching with often had independent work days where students were expected to sit quietly, make up missing work or sit quietly and work independently on a review packet. I also follow many teachers on Instagram and frequently see teachers using “Starbucks Mode” where students work independently and quietly. My question is, I love this idea but what do you do if an administrator or evaluator walks in for an observation? Do you explain to them what’s going on? Will they understand and just come back another time or will they be upset and expect you to do something?
     
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  3. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Apr 21, 2019

    Although my independent work is different than what you describe, I'm sure there are similarities in that when my students are working on their on (often with each other) I am usually either checking in with groups, or working with a group. My admin is looking to see what students are doing, and how the teacher has guided the culture of the whole class. My admin actually gets on us if we rely only on "direct teaching" or lecture style.
     
  4. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Apr 21, 2019

    I think the issue is what the teacher is doing while the kids are working independently. Is the teacher at his/her desk grading papers or checking email? Probably wouldn't go over well with the principal.

    Is the teacher working with a small group or 1-1 with a student? Is the teacher walking around and checking in with students? Probably fine.
     
    bella84, otterpop and czacza like this.
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 21, 2019

    You should be working one-on-one or with small groups of students. That's what would be expected. What does your cooperating teacher do during these times?
     
  6. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Apr 25, 2019

    Have it in your daily schedule and it shouldn't be a problem. I teach high school students with special needs and every day we have meditation time. Lights are out, music is on, and everyone (mostly) has their heads down on their desks. If an admin came in (which hopefully they wouldn't since I have a big sign on the door that says do not disturb), I'd do a quiet explanation and go about my day. Do what works for your classroom!
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Apr 25, 2019

    You probably should have it written somewhere in your lesson plans
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Apr 25, 2019

    If this is school culture and in your lesson plans, it is acceptable. Admin would be foolish to question the routine.

    To OP, I think calling it Starbucks Mode immediately gives me the wrong idea, leading me to think that the teacher is having a quiet day, too, maybe not fully engaged. I know that the teacher may not have meant it that way, but just pointing out the power of the words we use.
     
  9. DinoTeach

    DinoTeach Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2019

    It should be fine. In my experience, the admin wants me to go about what I was already doing and basically ignore that they walked in the room. Typically they like to ask a student what the purpose of the lesson is, what they're learning, how they're showing that learning, etc. If the student can answer somewhat articulately, the admin is pleased because I've done my job.
     

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