How are your observations structured?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JimG, Feb 16, 2018.

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How are they structured?

  1. Announced?

    8 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. Unannounced?

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    Feb 16, 2018

    Feel free to elaborate further on details or opinions.
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Feb 16, 2018

    Tenured teachers have 1 announced and 1 unannounced observation per year, each a full 40 minute period. They are nice enough to put all the unannounced into MP 2 so you know your unannounced will be some time between November and January.

    Non-tenured have 2 announced and 1 unannounced.

    The announced have the full pre-conference and all. They usually let you choose which period they come for the announced observation.

    Usually one of the two is with the department supervisor and the other is with the P, one of the APs, the superintendent, or the assistant superintndent. Occasionally both will be with the department supervisor instead, but you know ahead of time who will be coming for each.

    I definitely prefer unannounced as I don't have to worry as much about it, and they know it's not going to be a show (though I don't make my announced into a show either).
     
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Feb 16, 2018

    Either 0 (every year except every 4th year starting in year 5...though there's a 30 minute observation that's focused on one particular "area") or 2 (first three years, then every 4th year starting in year 5) announced full-lesson observations (3 if you're a 4th year teacher).

    Pre-observation the day before or the morning of, then a post observation a couple days after. I'm in my 3-observation year, and we'll be doing the second and third on consecutive days.
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Feb 16, 2018

    All observations (for both probationary and tenured teachers) are scheduled in advance. Per the collective bargaining agreement, we can’t do unannounced observations as part of their formal evaluation.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  6. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    Feb 16, 2018

    All our observations are announced with a meeting a week before and a follow up no later than a week after. Our principal does sometimes come in unannounced to check in but that has more to do with her trying to build a connection with the kids since she is only at our site once a week and at her other school the rest of the time.
     
  7. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Feb 16, 2018

    I've never had an announced observation in my 10 years of teaching. Honestly, I am alright with that because I think it takes away any pressure of putting on a dog and pony show. What they see when they come in is what I do every day.
     
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  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Feb 16, 2018

    Probationary teachers have two announced formals and at least 4 unannounced walkthroughs. Non-probationary teachers have at least 4 unannounced walkthroughs and 1 formal announced observation. For the formals, we are given a week and we can choose any time period within that week. We have a formal pre and post conference and a lot of paperwork that goes with both.

    The walkthroughs are new this year. I understand the point behind unannounced and not wanting to see a "dog and pony show," but I still don't think they are fair. I'm not teaching every element on the rubric in every single lesson, especially since I only get my students in 30 minute blocks. In some cases, maybe I did most of the modeling the day before and today is more guided and independent practice. That happened to me at a previous school. I got marked way down on all of the "direct instruction" elements of the rubric because that's not what I'd planned for that lesson. Had I known I was being observed, I obviously would have planned differently for that day. At the same school, my teammate got observed on a day she was giving a post-test that took the entire period. She basically got the lowest scores in everything, because obviously she wasn't actually teaching! There was no consideration at all given to the fact that she was giving a test that day.

    On my first walkthrough this year, my P came in and marked me down because she didn't see many of the elements- stuff I'd just done not 10 minutes before she'd walked in. Thankfully, on my 2nd walkthrough she came in during the part of the lesson that happened to have all of those elements. My previous P used to say that she could tell by the reactions of the students if we were doing "normal stuff" or if someone was trying to do a "dog and pony show." I think any good P would be able to tell that.

    IMO, unannounced observations shouldn't be counted as formal observations, and if walkthroughs are being used, they need to be very frequent so the P can get a picture of what that classroom is truly like, not just a few snapshots throughout the year. My first district used very frequent walkthroughs and I didn't mind them at all. My P, AP, and coach were in every room at least once a week. They left nice feedback and I felt less nervous about observations because it wasn't so much pressure on just one lesson.
     
  9. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Feb 17, 2018

    We can choose to have 2 announced or 5 unannounced. This happens every three years. Most are choosing the latter because there is so much less paperwork involved.
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Feb 17, 2018

    We have 1 announced and 2 unannounced for probationary teachers. We only do post-observation meetings, never pre-observation meetings.

    We also have announced walkthroughs, but those are not evaluative for individual teachers. It's just a way that the admin collect data on "how we're doing as a staff" and "to guide future PD". Sometimes the admin just walk in and sit down in a class for a few minutes, but that's either to make themselves visible to students or to uplift their spirits after dealing with everything they do in the office.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 17, 2018

    In my school, I think the teachers teaching gen ed classes are observed occasionally. SPED teachers have no observations. The only time admin comes to our rooms is if they have something to ask us.
     
  12. urban teacher

    urban teacher Rookie

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    Feb 17, 2018

    Last 2 years in GA, all unannounced. No preconference. No after conference.
    CA announced with ability to discuss it.
    Miss having the protections of a union.
     
  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Feb 17, 2018

    Then come back to CA!!!
     
  14. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Feb 17, 2018

    I'm tenured, so I have 1 announced and 1 unannounced. But honestly, we're usually at least given a window for the "unannounced."

    Non-tenured is 2 announced and 1 unannounced.
     
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Feb 18, 2018

    I have two announced per year — one is by the department chair and the second is by the principal.
     
  16. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Feb 27, 2018

    Announced the morning of the observation....
    -Principal comes into classroom (to observe and help out with whatever my students need)
    -Observes my lesson and records notes for 2 lessons (typically Circle Time and English or Math)
    -Discusses the results with me whenever I can fit it in
    The principal comments how well I teach and suggests ways to improve.
    The principal checks out my handouts, lesson plans, polices, procedures, and student behavior.
    Occurs once per semester.

    The principal and I are really good friends.
     

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