Lesson observation is not as daunting as it may seem. The most important thing is to make sure the feedback you get is both honest and constructive. It should be geared towards helping you improve as a teacher and not to put you down. The process is partly an interaction between the observed and the observer and preparation for this should take place well in advance.
Regardless of whether a teacher is being observed now or next year, each lesson should be approached as though it were being watched by an observer. That way the teacher gets used to planning and preparing lessons thoroughly and will be ready for when the inevitable does happen.
When the day to be assessed does come about it should be treated as if it were any regular day at work. Being self-conscious about the person in the back row with the clipboard will probably make you less effective than you usually are. In order to perform to your best the most important thing to do is to be yourself and not try to teach in a style that is not comfortable to you. The reason is that once you get feedback it will be a true reflection on the way you teach.
One way for assessors to make their job a little more interesting is to study the reactions of the children and look at the teacher to see how often they smile and convey positive body language. If the students are smiling a lot and are attentive than they are more engaged with the subject and with the teacher. Another thing the assessors look for is for teachers that allow their students to do a lot of talking, as this gets them involved in the learning process.
Whether you’re the one doing the observing or the one being observed, you are always learning. There can be things that a teacher says that are particularly effective when dealing with children, or they might just have a way of teaching a mundane subject with passion. IT’s always a great idea to try to view lessons are a variety of subjects, so you could pick up ideas along the way.
Teachers that wish to have a recording of their observation might well be able to get one from the school. This, with a recording of the feedback, can really help to pinpoint those areas which can be strengthened. If the teacher actually works on those areas which are a weakness then they’ll be able to approach the next assessment with confidence.
Feedback from students is an important way of learning what they think. They are, in essence, your customers and as such should be asked what they like about the lessons and what they do not like. Perhaps they’ll come up with ways in which to improve things.
Lesson observation is a simple process in which the observer and the observed work as a team. This may seem surprising but they both have goals and they both share the same environment. Therefore, it might help to ask the observer to take part in the lesson, to make them and you feel at ease.