Got a possibly dumb question

Discussion in 'General Education' started by giraffe326, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Tomorrow I am going to a neighboring school to observe another teacher. A person in charge of new teachers recommended I go see her, so my principal is sending me for the day :) Now, for the question. I have (obviously) done countless observations in college, but what is expected of me as a colleague? Do I take notes? Do I help? Do I wander? Do I sit? Help!! I just don't know! I want to look as if I know what I am doing!! Also, should I be super dressy or more relaxed. It is supposed to be super windy tomorrow, and I'd like to wear khakis, maybe a sweater and pull my hair up in a ponytail so it doesn't look like it did today ( :eek: scary!). Or, should I be more dressy? Do I worry about stupid things? Sometimes I feel like I am crazy :woot:
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We introduced ourselves, sat and watched, asked questions when it was appropriate to, wrote answers and thanked them for their time.
     
  4. ch106

    ch106 Rookie

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    As a colleague you should look like what you are. Pitch in and give the teach a hand with his/her students, pass out worksheets, further explain what the teacher is trying to say to the class, maybe even talk about your own experiences with the class about something that was rather funny, tell the class an encouraging story about a life lesson that got you where you are today.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Whenever I observed colleagues, I always dressed like I would on a regular school day. I sat and watched taking notes while they taught. When there was a break or the students left for lunch/specials, we would sit down and discuss my notes and they would answer any questions I had. I only helped out in the classroom if the teacher asked me to.
     
  6. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Feb 6, 2008

    I agree dress however you would to teach your own class.

    When I observe colleagues, I try to chat briefly with them when I walk into the room initially, say quickly why I'm observing (what I'm curious about, etc), and ask in what way they would like me to observe--if they want a pair of hands or a fly on the wall. Depending on that teacher's personality and the nature of the class and of the lesson, your helping could be a help or a hindrance, and if you just ask a brief polite question upon arrival you can find that out.
     
  7. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Person in charge or principal didn't plan for any pre-conference or contacting teacher prior to observation?

    When I was observed or observed others it was never just show up. At pre-conference we would discuss and agree on specific teaching techniques to demonstrate, a data collecting instrument for note taking, where to sit (observe), plan for post conference etc. Some teachers do things that, unless trained in what to look for, will seem like "Oh, you got all the good kids this year."

    I feel dress should be professional or if a parent or new student were to walk in they could immediately distinguish teacher from students.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Alright. Got it, take notes. My more relaxed khaki attire is OK (it depends on what is clean for what I wear typically. It can range from heels and skirt to khakis, cotton v-neck and tennis shoes!)
    I have e-mailed the teachers. They know I am a first year teacher coming on the recommendation of a new teacher support leader. She just thought I would enjoy it and get some new ideas (we team plan so observing my own fellow grade level teachers won't get me too far, LOL).

    Thanks to all! I just didn't know what the expectations were for me, especially since I am being paid to be there! :)
     
  9. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    I agree with the others. Ask your colleague what he or she would like of you. I know co-teachers who would prefer one does most of the talking--so it may not be appropriate in some classes for a "stranger" just to "jump in." Take notes, but if you are there for your development, I would take notes that you can benefit from later rather than criticisms. My understanding is that you are not there to rate a colleage (our education association/union stresses the critique of colleagues--that is what administration is for).

    Go with a pleasant attitude, offer your professional services, and then sit back, relax, and observe! Have fun--it sounds like a great opportunity! (I wish I could do the same to observe others now that I'm actually in the field--which feels much different from undergraduate observations and student teaching.)
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Exactly. There to observe! I am endorsed in Michigan in early childhood, where I student taught and all of my experience is. Yet, I am teaching 5th. So, sometimes I get stuck coming up with new things. Hence me getting shipped off (j/k, I was asked if I would want to and jumped at the chance, I figure it'd be stupid not to. Even veteran teachers can learn by watching others!). So, tomorrow, I am the student. Yet an employee. Which is what confused me!
     
  11. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I would say this observations is for you - if it was recommended that you go see her and you are a first year teacher. I don't think you would really be expected to pitch in and help, and you will probably get more out of just watching - how does she utilize materials, how does she manage the classroom, what strategies does she use, etc. I would jot down connections - how would you use the strategies she is using in your classroom? (If I don't do that right away with a strategy, I just forget about it.)
     
  12. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I had the chance to do this a couple of years ago. I observed, and helped out the teacher when she needed it.
     
  13. bakingdiva

    bakingdiva Companion

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    Almost once a month someone in my district (a new teacher, or someone who has switched grade levels) will email me asking to observe in my room. I typically just do my regular thing and the observers observe. Most take notes, and walk around the room. A lot take pictures, and ask the kids questions too. I've never had anyone offer to help teach. I have had some come 2-3 at a time and they talk.. while I'm teaching! Kinda hard to disipline the kids for talking when the adults in the room are talking. I never know if they are talking about my lesson or just talking, but it's still rude. They mostly wait to ask questions during my lunch, but some will ask questions as they come along. As long as I don't have to go indepth for the answer, then I don't mind. If it will take a while to explain, then I ask them to wait till the kids are working independently.
     
  14. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Wouldn't it be great if it turns out she is a A to Z regular?
     

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