Classroom Observation Tips For The Anxious Teacher

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While you know that classroom observations are part of the teaching experience, if you're like many anxious teachers, you may have some fear about an upcoming experience. Take deep breaths and consider these prep pointers:

Prep the Students

Rather than telling them the principal will be in to evaluate you, you may want to give a brief lesson on visitors. You can discuss being respectful to each other and being pleasant to anyone who comes into the classroom. This will help them remember any classroom rules without encouraging them to be nervous or "help" you in a way that wouldn't display the natural flow of the class.

Choose Appropriate Activities

To do better with your observation you might be planning a spectacular lesson. However, there are multiple reasons why that may not be best. If you do something in class that is too unusual, the students may or may not react as you like. They may remark that it's not like what you usually do in class, for instance. They may not like the lesson at all. Not only that, but your principal may be unable to show up because of an emergency elsewhere in the building, in which case you'd have to plan another show-stopping lesson.

Instead, stick to lessons similar to those that have been successful for you before. If you've played an interactive game that worked well a few months ago, for instance, you might try a variation on it for classroom observation day. This will engage students and you'll be comfortable. It's also wise to plan some kind of backup lesson in case you do have to see the principal another day.

Focus on Your Students

Because you're nervous, it's easy to focus on yourself and try to do a lesson that includes a lot of talking, since you're the one being observed. However, remember that the principal is most concerned with the way the children are learning because of you, not necessarily your ability to talk well for many minutes. Do as much interaction with your students as possible.

Show Management Skills

In addition to teaching, as a teacher, you need to be able to manage your class and students well. Be sure to display signs that show you are managing time and the children appropriately. You might, for instance, have class rewards or rules posted prominently for viewing. You may have a schedule breakdown for the class on the board.

Overall, classroom observations ensure that you and the students are progressing well. If you heed these tips and be yourself, your skills are certain to shine through.