Observation Hours Requirement - HELP

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Teachling, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Mar 12, 2008

    :eek:hmy: I received my official letter of acceptance for attendance to the Summer Academy in the mail today. Among the paperwork included, there is a form that I will need to use for doing observation hours. The only information I have so far is that I am to contact specific campuses in my area to conduct observations. I am interested in anyone's experience in doing this. What is the protocol? Am I really just observing? I also have to fill out the form with observation on classroom procedures, behavior management, learning activities & teaching methods. Being new at this, I"m full of questions. I will contact the program people tomorrow to get some clarifications but I'm also interested in what your experiences have been like with this process. Appreciate the input!!
     
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  3. greenbean6

    greenbean6 Companion

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    Mar 13, 2008

    I have observed in a number of different classes to fill my hours requirement for my program. In all but one of the classes all I did was observe. Let me tell you, it can get mighty boring once you have some hours under your belt. I really would have liked to participate more. One thing I really learned was that kids get away with ALOT when the teacher is looking the other way!

    How many hours are you required to do?
     
  4. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Mar 13, 2008

    You have to do 100 hours of observations before you can student teach in NY state. It's nothing fancy for us--- and can be rather boring actually. Most teachers don't even expect you to show up and have no issue signing off on your hours--- most teachers think the observation hour rule is stupid.

    But that being said--- depending on the teacher you observe, sometimes they'll have you help out, sometimes they'll sit you in the back and want you to keep quiet. I would suggest that you take some notes to remember in case you have to do observation summaries.

    Also, feel free to ask them for any work that they do in the classroom--- its stuff you can save for later when you're actually teaching :)
     
  5. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    I am require to do 20 hours and will like to get them done as soon as possible since there's only a couple of months left. I do have to do summaries of what I observe.

    Did you guys go directly to the schools you were interested in to do your observation?
     
  6. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    I was always given a specific placement, but some people I know in other programs had to find their own placements and they usually just called teachers that they knew to arrange placements.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Mar 13, 2008

    I taught at a university with a model school, so I did all of my observations there.

    I often get students who observe my classes. Sometimes they are people who know me personally--often former students--but sometimes they just come to the school and the principal recommends classrooms for them to observe.
     
  8. blessedhands

    blessedhands Comrade

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    Mar 14, 2008

    isn't there a rubic given to you about what to observe from the person/teacher teaching the course?

    if not,

    Like I am doing now observe, students, learning styles, classroom diveristy, the school community, the staff, the lesson plans, how lessons are taught, behavioral probs and students and how the teachers dealt with them; observe the students seating arrangements; the classroom surroundings like the posters, charts etc; observe almost every minuit detail of the school and classroom and teachers you observing.
     
  9. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Mar 15, 2008

    Contact some of the public schools in your area. Just call or drop in. They will help you to arrange to do observations.
     
  10. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Mar 15, 2008

    Blessedhands, they gave me a form to fill out but it's very general. I will use some of your suggestions depending on the classroom setting, of course.

    Teresaglass, I did contact local schools & had even arranged to do some hours only to find out I have to go through the district. The district requires that I first fill out a form so that they can do a background check first before I can observe a class. They've changed alot of their policies concerning safety which in today's school setting, unfortunately is a necessity. So, anyway that is what I'm waiting for.
     
  11. blessedhands

    blessedhands Comrade

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    Stop contacting them and march right in and ask to speak to the Principal directly for 5 mins and show him or her the letter requesting observations. They gave me the run around also and told me to contact district as they sometimes mix up student teacher with just observing.

    Go directly.
     
  12. greenbean6

    greenbean6 Companion

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    I also ran into a similar problem when I went in to ask about observing in one school. They thought I wanted to volunteer so I was going to need fingerprinting and the whole deal but then the principal said that if we called it "observing" (which is what I was actually inquiring about) I could go into the classrooms. I just needed to show TB clearance.
     
  13. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Mar 16, 2008

    It won't work in the district I'm observing. The form clearly states something about "observation hours" & on top of that I don't get to pick the school, they do. I asked a teacher who is a first yr teacher, & she said she had to do the same thing with a different district. Evidently, It's protocol in this area.
     
  14. Noggin

    Noggin Rookie

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    Mar 16, 2008

    I know they changed it recently for the district I am in. Used to be able to just sign-in and observe, but now they require all the hoops even if only observing.

    Only advice I can offer is that if any of the campuses/districts you contact seem uncertain of how to handle your request- then call someone else! Seems simple, but I had never done observations so I didn't know what I should expect. I made arrangments to observe a school and it took a lot of phone calls back and forth to get it set up. Then they made me nervous again because when I called the AP the day before my planned visit to confirm, she seemed like she had forgotten and she was supposed to be my scheduling contact. But she said she remembered and everything was ready. Well, it wasn't and they shoved me off on the department chair at the last minute that next morning and he had to find somewhere for me to observe on the spot. He seemed annoyed (I don't blame him), and it wasn't a great experience for me either.

    Then I contacted another school, they transferred me directly to someone who set everything up, was on the ball when I called to confirm, and had everything right down to my name tag ready when I arrived. I felt really comfortable and had a great experience. So call around if they seem wishy-washy or unorganized. There are schools who are super prepared to handle your request out there. :)
     
  15. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Mar 21, 2008

    In my district whether you are observing or volunteering you still need to go through a background check. A few years back, my dh had to go through this process just so he could volunteer to help the soccer coach. :eek:hmy:
     
  16. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 21, 2008

    Teachling,

    When do you start your classes and when are you supposed to have your 20 hours done?

    I think a person gets more out of observing if you have some classes under your belt. I had been subbing three years when I went through my alt cert so I didn't need the 20 hours of student contact. BUT I still went to some of my favorite teachers at my son's school and observed them. I think I now have about 80 hours of observation (not counting the times when the class I was subbing in would meet with another class for research and the other teacher would lead).

    I felt that by having the sub experience and having taken the classes at my ACP, that I got so much more out of the observations I did. There is so much more than just seeing how someone handles classroom management. For example, I was able to really see some great activities for making words, wonderful hands on math assignments, and see the various parts of lessons in action - like the 5E model.

    Also, if at all possible I would suggest spending a couple hours with the teacher who helps groups of struggling readers. This was very helpful to me.

    Lemon
     
  17. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    You mean the summer academy? Starts in July. I don't even know if the classes are really going to be dealing with things you do as a student teacher. I'll know more about it in May when I attend a mandatory mtg.
    Since I don't have small children in the district I am at a disadvantage in that I haven't been involved. I'm trying to figure out what I can do in the mean time.
     
  18. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 21, 2008

    Okay but when do you have to have the 20 observation hours in?
     
  19. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    oh, by July.
     
  20. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Mar 22, 2008

    Wow that's stricter than I thought I had it. I went to college in NY--- 40 minutes away from NYC and they didn't even require that I have a background check. All they needed from me was my college ID and a letter from my professor stating how many hours, what course it was for, and their contact information.

    The hours go by quickly, so once you have it set up you'll be good to go. I would suggest calling around to different districts and schools to see what their protocol is--- some might not be as strict as others.

    Good luck! :)
     
  21. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Mar 25, 2008

    Well, I got the green light & was assigned a school for my observation hours. Though, it's just for my observation hours, I'm getting very excited. Looks like everything is fine concerning the background check -- referencing my other post/thread concerning the district. :up:
     

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