Observation Monday

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ms.irene, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 23, 2015

    I have my first observation/evaluation this coming Monday, and of course it's in my "toughest" class -- Senior English. I'm especially nervous because it's my "make or break" tenure decision year (second year in this district).

    This class is funny -- they are often noisy and boisterous, but also can have really brilliant insights in discussions and generally perform well in the group discussion (Harkness/inner-outer circle) format I use. But they can also be anxious and have an attitude when they feel overwhelmed. I have a lot of non-college-track or first-generation college-bound students in this class who get overwhelmed and anxious easily.

    I want to make sure I have a strong plan for this observation. I want my P to see the group discussion in action, but I also want to make sure there is a clear lesson structure. This is what I have so far:

    Journal prompt related to the reading assignment, 10 mins
    Think-pair-share related to the prompt/reading, 10 mins
    Harkness inner-outer circle discussion, 30 mins
    Transition to working on research project, review assignment expectations, 5 mins
    Students working on research assignment using iPads, 40 mins
    Wrap-up/review homework assignment, 5 mins

    My P will probably leave once students are working independently, after about an hour.

    What other ideas do you have? How can I strengthen this plan, or does it look good enough? What can I do to feel less nervous overall??
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 23, 2015

    An hour observation? Wowza:eek: your plans look complete but boy am I thankful for my 15 minute mini observations!
     
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  4. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Oct 23, 2015

    1 hour observations are rough...and I have three of them a year as a non tenured teacher. I think what you have looks good. As long as it's student centered and the kids are engaged, collaborating, and having higher-level discussions, that's what they're looking to see.
     
  5. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 23, 2015

    We have 100-minute blocks so an hour doesn't even feel that long anymore! My P observed me last year and always had positive feedback, so I know I shouldn't be stressing out, but I am just afraid that the bar will be higher in my "sophomore" year. I keep telling myself I can't have gotten worse over the summer!
     
  6. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 23, 2015

    Thanks jadore...I think I am going to have four! I am also non-tenured and here (in CA) they have to decide on your tenure in your second year, which is adding to my anxiety. I saw a teacher get axed last year, his second year, and I am terrified of the same fate! I think he had major issues getting along with other teachers and with admin, though, and that is totally not me.
     
  7. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Oct 23, 2015

    2 years is short! It's 4 here where I am at. It's my 7th year teaching though and I've yet to achieve tenure as I've switched jobs. I'm sure you will do just fine. it sounds like you've got it together and have engaging lessons. Getting along with other staff is also a biggie and can be a make or break it.

    We have 3 long and 1 short (20 mins). All but one are unannounced. And this goes on for 4 years! I always have to be on my toes.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 24, 2015

    I think your plan sounds good, but I also think the best thing to do is to follow your usual format. Don't change anything, this is not the time to introduce a new activity, etc. So if this is something they're used to, don't worry too much.
    Also make sure you don't forget the following:
    - have your learning goals posted
    - go over them with the students. I always forget to mention them, I have learning goals for the section we're doing, not for the daily lesson. So in the beginning I have them copy it and I go over them, but then I don't do it every day. So when I was observed I didn't do it, and that was the only thing I didn't do right, which wasn't a big deal.
    - make sure your students know what the learning goals are or at least where to find them.
     
  9. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Oct 25, 2015

    My observation is the length of the entire lesson, I've had some around 30 minutes and some over an hour. It just depends on how the lesson goes. Your lesson plans look good. Just make sure you are comfortable with what you're asking the kids to do and they are confident doing them. It's not the time for a dog and pony show. Try to keep it as close to a normal lesson you would do whether you were being observed or not. Good luck! It sounds like you are ready and I'm sure you'll do great!
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 25, 2015

    Have a wonderful time tomorrow. Remember, it's not about you or your evaluator. It's about those kiddos who need some waking up and lessons taught. You'll be amazing like you ALWAYS are!
     
  11. Culturanta

    Culturanta Rookie

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    Oct 25, 2015

    Just wanted to wish you good luck, I recently had my first of two formal observations and it went well for me, I am sure yours will go well too!
     
  12. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 26, 2015

    Thanks so much for the positive thoughts! I am feeling good and ready. I just want to get it over with! Linguist, thanks for the great reminder -- that was my one thing to work on last year, too, so I am definitely going to remind myself to go over the objective at the start and try to keep referencing it throughout!
     
  13. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 26, 2015

    Whew! It went really well. My kids were on point -- not "OMG the principal is here" and afraid to be themselves -- they were themselves and there were a couple of "senior moments" but they participated really well in our discussion. The P actually asked me to present the discussion format I'm using in a best practices meeting tomorrow! Thanks again for the moral support :)
     
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  14. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Oct 26, 2015

    Great job!! I know you're happy to have it over. :)
     

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