Etiquettes of Peer Observation

ETIQUETTES

In my previous post, I had shared my views on the steps to be observed during peer observation. In this post, I wish to share with you few etiquettes of peer observation. If you need to gain maximum benefits out of the peer observation process, then both the observer and the observee need to follow few basic etiquettes.

As a teacher, whenever you are doing a peer observation, it is very important that you carry an objective mindset. You need to understand that the role of observer is to provide constructive feedback to the observee. Likewise, the observee needs to take the feedback in a positive manner and work towards betterment in teaching.

With that said, I wish to list few etiquettes of peer observation. I look at it in terms of three stages – Before observation, During observation and After observation. So, here we go!

Etiquettes of Peer Observation

Before Observation

Observer

  • Have a focused meeting with the observee. Clarify the objectives of the lesson, type of students and expected outcomes of the session
  • Mutually agree on the feedback format as preferred by the observee (in case the institution uses two or three different peer observation feedback forms)
  • Request for materials and text book relevant to the session
  • Agree on the date and time, get venue details and locate the venue before the day of visit
  • Run through all the materials provided by the observee before the visit
  • Make a checklist of the things that you would like to observe during the session

Observee                                                                               

  • Orient the observer on the focus of the lesson, objectives, nature of students, teaching strategies and aids, and expected outcomes of the lesson
  • Provide necessary materials to the observer
  • State your preference for feedback forms
  • Share your concerns with the observer; be open and practical
  • Be prepared for the session and inform your students about the visit

During Observation

Observer

  • Arrive few minutes before the start of the class as agreed with the observee
  • Choose a strategic place to sit. You need to have visibility of all students. However, remain discreet during the entire process of observation
  • Bring the required text book, exercise sheets / case study or other materials provided by the observee during pre-discussion meeting
  • Bring your notepad, pen or pencil for taking notes
  • Engage in active note taking. Record your observations in a systematic manner covering various points such as seating arrangements, student participation, achieving learning outcomes, start – structure – closure of lecture, style of delivery, timings for each task, use of teaching aids and so on. Nevertheless, do not engage in continuous writing as you may miss out on observing students’ reactions, teacher-students interactions and flow of session
  • Do not give any remarks during the session
  • Do not leave the room while the session is in progress. Leave the room only after the students disperse
  • You may thank the students before they leave (if agreed by the observee)

Observee

  • Introduce the observer to the students and share with them the purpose of observer’s visit
  • Engage in teaching in the usual manner. Be natural and ‘yourself’
  • Carry yourself with self-confidence and do not put on a show for the sake of observation
  • Be clear and audible during the entire session
  • Do not approach the observer seeking comments/remarks during the session
  • Have a positive attitude; remember to smile when the observer walks in
  • Thank the observer when he/she leaves the classroom

After Observation

Observer

  • Schedule the post-discussion meeting at the earliest possible time. It is best to give your feedback before you forget the key points
  • Do not be judgmental. Remember you are not trying to prove anything
  • Be motivating and balanced during the entire post-observation meeting
  • Give your comments in a constructive manner. You need to be honest with your observation; however, you need not be negative or insulting
  • Do NOT discuss about your visit to other colleagues or give any remarks about the visit
  • Be polite
  • Record your observations in the form and get the signatures of the observee and your line manager

Observee

  • Be focused and attentive during the post-discussion meeting
  • Take all the comments in a positive manner. Do not become self-defensive
  • Ask for more details in case you are not convinced with the feedback
  • Request the observer if you may clarify your point of view
  • Give adequate explanation regarding your style / delivery of teaching, participation of students in case you are asked
  • Take down notes for making necessary improvements
  • Prepare an action plan for self-improvement based on feedback

Do you like to add more points? Please share your views in the comments box below.

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