Observation

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by teach2020, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. teach2020

    teach2020 Rookie

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    Mar 20, 2008

    I'm being observed on Monday, the day we come back for Spring Break. I'm not sure what time the principal is coming in... she didn't mention it... and recommendations for contracts have to be done Tuesday with the school board. This is making me feel rather nervous because I feel like I have to prepare an amazing day ALL day (and she might not even drop in... this has been the third rescheduling). Ugh.... Any lesson plan suggestions? Words of advice? It's for 4th grade. Thanks....

    Also, this is my first formal observation. Just trying to breathe.
     
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  3. Briana008

    Briana008 Companion

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    Mar 20, 2008

    Sorry, no advice here, but perhaps moral support! First of all, the day back from spring break? Ugh! My students were dead and it was like pulling teeth to get them to do ANYTHING. (Ok, maybe I'm not so good in the moral support department!)

    However, let me just remind you that you're probably already planning fantastic lessons day in and day out. Keep doing what you've been doing--if you get too stressed your kids will sense it and things will feel "off." Whenever I was observed this semester, things went well when I just ignored the fact there was someone else in the room and just carried out business as usual.

    ~Briana~
     
  4. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    Mar 20, 2008

    This is very hard advice to follow, but BE YOURSELF as you would be on any normal day. I know it is nerve racking, but most administrators are not looking for reasons to fire you, they are looking for opportunities to offer advice or suggestions to your daily routine. My principal observed me unannounced and although she gave some criticisms (she is a great admin and it was all put in a very positive manner) she also praised the way I had students transition between lessons and kept distracted kids on task without interrupting the flow of the lesson. It was nice to get a frank opinion from her without getting all worried beforehand about how I should "wow" her. They need to see a "regular" day in the room to be able to really offer their assistance. :)
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Companion

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    Mar 20, 2008

    My principal isn't looking for a "Dog and Pony Show" from us. She wants to see a normal day with a normal lesson. Be yourself. Good Luck, you'll do fine.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Mar 20, 2008

    Dave said exactly what I was going to say. This isn't a time to "try something you've never done before." Stick with something you know works. If you know your students get incredibly off-task doing a particular activity, don't plan it for your observation day. Choose things the children will get excited about, but not something that will have your entire room in chaos.

    Be yourself. You will do fine!!!
     
  7. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    My students usually come back from breaks refreshed and ready to learn. If they seem sluggish, try to get them out of their seats with some activities that require movement. RELAX---if you're worried about a contract for next year, chances are your principal has already made her decision, and if you were in danger of not getting a contract, you would probably already know. :)
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Mar 20, 2008

    Administrators would rather see what you do day in and day out that works than an obviously over the top lesson. Also, if you plan an elaborate lesson that is much different than your regular instruction, you kids will probably misbehave or you will find out that your fancy lesson didn't work for some reason. Don't forget to implement your regular behavior plan and use all of the transition stuff that you use every day. I also like to let the kids know that someone is coming, but they should act like they aren't there. I usually say that they are coming to make sure we are learning what we are supposed to and that we are getting ready for the next grade.
     
  9. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Mar 20, 2008

    I'm bad! I tell the kids that the principal is coming to see if THEY are good students! I tell them I'll try to help them, but THEY must prove to the principal (or whoever the visitor is) that they are good students.

    Of course, afterwards, I rant and rave about what a fine job they did. If someone does act up, later, I make a point of telling that child that they made the whole class look bad, and they should be embarrrassed about it. It usually doesn't happen again.
     
  10. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I know some teachers do this, but my kids are little and I don't want them to stress out if they don't know the answer. I have one student who has been worrying about going to first grade and getting a new teacher since January because I mentioned that they are halfway to first grade and everyone should be able to put their own jackets on :woot: I guess it depends on your class and how they would react
     
  11. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Mar 20, 2008

    The day after spring break???? My contract forbids this, just do to the possiblity that kids are going to act up naturally....

    I wish you the best of luck and cannot offer much more than what others have offered. Just one little thing. Write up your lesson plan, like in the Madeline Hunter format, just in case. Even write out the entire lecture portion. One it is there for the post observation talk, and it will be something for you to look at in case you mess up.
     
  12. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Mar 20, 2008

    Great idea - I always write my observed lessons up in full Madeline-Hunter-just-like-college-style, but didn't think to write it here!

    P.S. I had an observation on Halloween :woot: and it was great. We were studying creepy crawlies and made model insects.
     
  13. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Mar 22, 2008

    This suggestion was already made, but I agree with it: just act like the person isn't even there. I found out that when I was observed that was the VERY BEST thing to do. Don't look at the observer, don't think about him/her being there, and just get through your lesson with a big smile on your face :D and pay attention to the needs of your students--- just like you would do on a normal day.
     
  14. teach2020

    teach2020 Rookie

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    Mar 23, 2008

    Thanks...

    to everyone's encouragement. I think it's helped me calm down a bit. The principal has already rescheduled the observation twice (this is the third time) so hopefully it'll actually happen so my anxiety won't be so pointless :)

    Some general problems I'm still having: 1) How to lesson plan for a whole week... I usually do it day by day but it's exhausting. 2) The best way to transition from lesson to lesson. The classes are self contained and I think I need a better way to go from one subject to another... or do people generally just do "get that book/folder out and get another book/folder out" Ideas?
     
  15. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Mar 23, 2008

    My class likes to stall on transistions, so I make it a competition. We do marbles in the jar, so I might say something like, "I'll put 10 marbles in our jar if everybody is ready for math in 30 seconds" or whatever.
     

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