What to observe when doing student teacher classroom observations?

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by Jioconde, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Jioconde

    Jioconde Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2019

    Hello everyone!

    In a couple of weeks, I will be visiting schools. During this time period, I will be observing my mentor teacher in his or her own classroom, working with individuals or small groups, and conduct teaching responsibilities as deemed fitting. At the end of these weekly visits, there will be a minor practicum to be completed.

    After doing research on this topic, I realized that it is really important to take notes on the mentor teacher's classroom routines, teaching techniques, lesson plan structure, classroom management, how the teacher develops a rapport with the students etc.

    Based on your experiences of student teaching or mentoring student teachers, what would you suggest that I take notes on while I observe my mentor teacher in his or her classroom?

    I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all of you for reading this post. I am opened to all your suggestions. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and I look forward to hearing your opinion.
     
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  3. Charlie Trahan

    Charlie Trahan Rookie

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    Sep 24, 2019

    I am only at observation level and taking my teacher courses to career switch. But last week when I observed I started noticing students behavior toward the teacher when she was talking about the assignment or what they were working on that day. The students that had trouble that day in class within five minutes of her speaking would already not be paying attention like they checked out. I could tell the teacher knew who had checked out and it was nice to see her slowly tailor her lesson and get them back on track. She grouped a specific way as well as managed individuals based on that individual. I would see a student go from not wanting to participate to being engaged pretty quickly. It was cool to watch. Another thing I liked seeing was I went to the same school two days in a row from 1st period to 8th. The last day the teacher left early from 7th to 8th and they were nice enough to let me stay and see a sub. Well...the sub never showed up so the special ed aid became the sub. It was a whole different classroom with sub vs. with the teacher and it was great to know. In one class, 4th period, i actually helped the math teacher across the hall since that was the science teachers planning period. My goodness was that different. She let me help with the long division assignment while she tutored in the back.
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 24, 2019

    I would take notes on the following
    - if possible a minute by minute timeline if what was happening. (direct teaching, collaboration, down time, problems, etc) For example 9:00 am bell rang, students finally settled down, 9:05 am teacher started warm up activity. 9:15 am started reading story. 9:25 am questions about the story. 9:26, one student was disruptive, teacher was dealing with it until 9:30am... etc.
    Something like this can be invaluable to see how much time is spent downtime, or how efficient the teacher is and remember to follow their example.
    - timeline of the class in general
    - procedures. Does the teacher have a specific procedure to turn papers in? Pass out things? Collect homework? Bathroom?
    - classroom management issues
    - classroom management rules, expectations, etc.
    - student seating
    - look around and see what's on the classroom walls. Are rules and expectations posted? Is the classroom overall welcoming?
    - student engagement. How many students are in class, at different time how many engaged.


    You're basically looking at everything. You can learn a lot, what to do, but also what not to do.
     
    KatnissGMorgernstern likes this.
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Sep 24, 2019

    I’d also jot down some questions that you have, such as the “why” questions. For instance, one of my observers wanted to know why I had one class turn paper in by putting them in a tray and another class had to hand the paper to me. She thought it would be easier to do all the same thing. True. However, the class that handed me the papers had to do that because they were trying to rush through and turn in crap work. They had to hand it to be for approval before I agreed to let it be finished. They had to do that for a couple of weeks before they realized they had to do it right the first time.

    Another time someone was doing an observation for a program and marked me as non-compliant for a word wall because it was under the board. He said it wasn’t readily visible. At his next visit, I told him that I disagreed with it being marked as non-compliant because the KIDS asked me to put it there because while it was directly in their line of sight when they were at their desks. It’s not for a 6’+ grown man standing in my room. It’s for kids sitting at desks. He agreed.

    Why is important.
     
  6. Jioconde

    Jioconde Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2019

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to give me some valuable advice. I really do appreciate it. I will definitely apply these tips when I go in and observe classrooms. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours! :)
     
  7. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Oct 5, 2019

    I'm a bit more random than some. :) Things I would look for are:
    1. Things that seem to work...
    2. Things I like…. ( projects, arts, fun stuff that is academic....)
    3. Things I could see myself doing in the future...
     
  8. Jioconde

    Jioconde Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2019

    Thanks Tired Teacher for giving me some valuable advice on what to take notes on while I observe my mentor teacher. I really appreciate it that you took some time to make a comment on this subject. I wish you all the best with your future. :)
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.

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