Peer observation example

Skip to content. Skip to navigation. Observation of Teaching, where it works well, impacts on the performance of the individual teacher or the observer and is well suited for those new to teaching. However, it is beneficial to consider teaching quality in the context of student learningwhich goes beyond the individual performance, hence the University is adopting a revised scheme for annual teaching improvement: Peer Enhancement for Teaching Excellence.

Check with your Head of School for clarification of which scheme applies to you. The process of observing teaching provides both the observee and the observer with the opportunity to learn from each other. It can be beneficial to observe colleagues from other departments, to enable staff observing and exchanging teaching practices with colleagues from cognate disciplines.

A Record of Observation of Teaching has been designed to assist you with this process. Your College may have particular requirements for observing teaching so please contact your Learning and Teaching Committee member.

Inthe Observation of Teaching scheme operates for all teaching staff both on campus and distance learning who are not participating in the Peer Enhancement for Teaching Excellence scheme.

An exception are colleagues on probation for whom arrangements for the monitoring and assessment of teaching are already in place. Observees use Section 1 of the Record form to document the focus of the observation and share it with their observer. The Record of Observation of Teaching outlines the following areas for consideration, whether the observation is of a face-to-face session or an online teaching event:. The observer will use Section 2 of the Record form during the observation. Observees need to ensure that students are informed of the reason why another member of staff is attending the class.

A debriefing session is held promptly no later than 48 hours after the teaching observation where the observer provides feedback on the teaching session and the observee has the opportunity to reflect on the session using observations noted in Section 2 of the Record form.

Staff and Professional Development. Personal tools Web Editor Log in. Search Site only in current section. Advanced Search…. Search Site.Peer-to-peer observation—that is, teachers observing teachers—is the most powerful way for teachers to improve their practice.

However, simply having teachers visit other classrooms will not fully realize the potential of peer-to-peer observation for improving instruction and, ultimately, learner experiences. Below are five questions to help teachers steer through the process of establishing a culture of productive peer-to-peer observation.

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Essential questions play a similar role in schools. With a focused line of inquiry shaping peer-to-peer observations, both the observed and the observer are more likely to take away transformative insight that positively affects instructional practice and student learning. Are the essential questions for the observation created with a top-down or bottom-up approach? What do our students need from us to learn?

Administrators often have general questions that they would like to explore and discuss as a school. For example.

peer observation example

However, a top-down approach to creating essential questions—that is, administrators dictating questions to be discussed and observed—is not the most effective way to begin the peer-to-peer observation process. Administrators should pose questions to stimulate inquiry and solicit teacher insight, ultimately leading teachers to determine their own essential questions based on the priorities they feel are most pertinent to their students.

Administrator questions should not serve as vehicles for a hidden agenda but rather as opportunities for teachers to engage in discussion, generate ideas, and create essential questions.

These essential questions should then be used as the foundation for peer-to-peer observations. Teachers are more likely to fully embrace the opportunities afforded by peer-to-peer observations when they have played a role in identifying the essential questions to be investigated and observed—that is, when a bottom-up approach is used.

Administrators need to find ways to give teachers an authentic voice when developing the questions that matter to them, their students, and their practice. Curious about developing essential questions? Although the book is geared toward essential questions to help promote deeper understanding for students, it also includes valuable insight for educators working with educators. How do we know? As the questions are unpacked by a teacher team, the focus may be on the continuum of the curriculum, from the youngest to oldest students and their success overall.

Or it might be on how the students engage in math on a daily basis. Or both. The type of observation will depend on the focus. Would it be better for teachers to observe one class during a single lesson, or to organize a walkthrough which visits a greater number of classes?

Both may elicit valuable evidence, but the data captured will be very different. Just getting together to watch each other teach can be unnerving. However, when there is a clear purpose and mutual trust among teachers, everyone can benefit—both the observed and the observers. However, before entering into any peer-to-peer observation, the focal point of the observation needs to be crystal clear.

Are we looking at teacher actions, student behavior, or both? Are observers watching for personal learning or to gather data as part of a study?

Are we trying to understand instructional practices or student engagement? Are we watching all students or specific ones? Answering these questions prior to an observation creates a transparent and safe environment for teachers, who may feel under the microscope and vulnerable when peers come to observe. Expecting teachers to just use their already-limited planning time will result in a less fruitful experience and is likely to be met with resistance.

With this approach, observations will not be sustainable.By Signing up, you agree to our privacy policy. Typically evaluative by nature, teacher observation is usually linked to classroom performance.

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More and more schools, however, are using observation -- teachers observing teachers -- as a form of professional development that improves teaching practices and student performance. In this article, Education World's Michele Israel talks with experts about the benefits of this emerging professional development strategy. Included: The benefits of learning by observing -- for the teacher, administrator, and school, plus five observation models.

Being observed in the classroom can rattle any teacher's nerves. But, teacher observations that serve as vehicles for professional growth rather than performance evaluations have multiple benefits -- for teachers, administrators, and the school. More and more, administrators and teachers are viewing peer observation as a form of collaborative professional development.

This kind of observation can yield its greatest benefits when used as a means of sharing instructional techniques and ideologies between and among teachers.

Teacher observation is one model of professional learning that "is key to supporting a new vision for professional development," explained Stephanie Hirsh, executive director of Learning Forward. The new vision, according to Hirsh, involves teacher teams that meet daily to study standards, plan joint lessons, examine student work, and solve common problems.

Team members then apply that learning in the classroom, watching each other teach and providing regular feedback. Cristi Alberino echoed those thoughts.

Mirror, Mirror... Observe, Reflect, and Apply

Teachers should "use one another for professional development," said Alberino, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education and a former New York City teacher. For example, she notes, a teacher struggling with classroom management can improve his or her skills by observing a peer in a safe and inclusive learning environment.

Being observed by the same peer leads to suggestions about how to handle behavior problems, as well as opportunities to share successful teaching approaches with the observer.

Teacher observation often has been built into familiar activities, such as mentoring, noted Trish Brasslow, a media specialist and mentor at Fred C.

I learn a lot about teaching and what makes for a successful teacher. It is essential to effective use of the "teachers observing teachers" strategies that school administrators enable a culture that nurtures a collegial exchange of ideas and promotes a certain level of trust, explained Dennis Sparks, the former executive director of National Staff Development Council which is now known as Learning Forward.

That culture is often absent when observation is associated with performance rather than professional growth. Most important to effective teacher observation is that it be student-focused.

The emphasis needs to be on how things can be done differently in the classroom to ensure that students succeed academically, added Sparks. Souhegan High School is an environment where a teachers-observing-teachers strategy thrives.

A culture exists "where people report with pride that they push' one another professionally," according to Meaney. Both new and veteran teachers "value collegial relationships as a means to professional development," she said. Teacher observation should be part of a pool of professional development opportunities, Sparks told Education World. One way in which peer observation can be very effective is when teachers acquire new skills or ideas at conferences and then model those new approaches for their colleagues.

Peer-to-Peer Observation: Five Questions for Making It Work

That is best done through observation, said Sparks, who advocates learning in the school, rather than through "pull-out" training, such as workshops. Professional development should be job-embedded, he emphasized.

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That is one of the greatest benefits of teachers observing other teachers. Observation brings actual practice to the forefront.Many early years setting use peer to peer observations as a means of continuous professional development.

They are a great tool to evaluate employees performance and identify areas for improvement. Managers and practitioners take it in turns to observe each other, this can be done at any time of the day and this is valuable o see employees performance at different parts of the day.

Peer to Peer observations can be used to identify particular areas of practitioners practice, for instance, their interaction with children.

These types of observations can be carried out by more senior practitioners as a way of coaching and supporting team members. However, it is best practice for all practitioners to carry out these observations as it allows them to gain the experience in completing these observations and it also shows that all practitioners are treated equally.

Peer to peer observation Sheet1. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. What are Peer to Peer observations An example of a peer to peer observation Many early years setting use peer to peer observations as a means of continuous professional development. Pin 1. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.Upcoming Events Calendar. Benedictine University is an inclusive academic community dedicated to teaching and learning, scholarship and service, truth and justice, as inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition, the social teaching of the Church, and the principles of wisdom in the Rule of St.

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Informal Peer Observation

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Faculty and Staff Resources. Sample Forms for Teaching Observation. Instructional Design Social Media.Informal peer observations offer an opportunity for you to reflect on your teaching practice in a supportive environment.

peer observation example

Peer observations by the TLC are unrelated to the promotion and tenure process but reflections can be part of portfolios. They are confidential, flexible, based on observation, and positive and growth-minded.

All discussion and observations are confidential and only used for the purpose of enhancing teaching by the observee. Observations can only be requested by the observee and only the observee will receive feedback about the observation. If requested, the CTL will provide a letter of confirmation that an observation has been done to the observee, but we will not provide written details of an observation.

You may be accustomed to a formal observation in which you are evaluated. Informal peer observation is a different process in which no judgement is made. Instead, the emphasis is on reflecting on an aspect of your teaching practice that you would like feedback on.

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Your peer observer has the responsibility to respect your process and recognize that you are the expert in your classroom. We promise to honor your practice and personal growth as a teacher. You do not have to agree with all or anything your observer says. As the observee, we ask that you do not ask for evaluation, but focus on answering a question about your teaching practice.

peer observation example

We know that this can be uncomfortable. We also hope that the attention to your teaching is worth the short term discomfort. The Peer Observation program is run by Teresa Carmack. Peer observers have background and practice in the process. If you would like to become a peer observer, please contact the CTL.Peer observation is when a teacher observes another teacher in order to develop their classroom practice.

A peer can be any colleague willing to support you. They may be from a different department or year team, have recently joined teaching, or be a member of the senior leadership team.

Peer Observation Form - to encourage the sharing of good practise across your department

Peer observation is a two-way process that can benefit both the observer and the teacher being observed, with the goal of improving learning and teaching. Effective schools appreciate that non-judgemental observations can form part of high-quality professional development. These schools see peer observation as important because it can improve the quality of teaching and learning for an individual and a whole school.

In the rest of this guide we will look at each stage of this cycle in more detail. There will be opportunities for you to reflect on how peer observation might support your professional development and the continued professional development CPD offered in your school.

Also, we will look at the common misconceptions about peer observation and look at peer observation in practice. Peer observation works alongside other forms of professional development. Peer observation gives you an opportunity to apply what you have learned from other forms of professional development, such as conferences, training courses or reading. For example, after attending a training event where a new learning strategy was introduced, you could use peer observation to get constructive feedback on how this strategy would work in your situation.

Peer observation encourages honest conversation. It is essential that the observation is used to gather evidence to encourage a constructive and supportive feedback conversation. At no point should you be judged. Without fear of being judged you may want to focus on how particular groups of students responded to stages of the lesson.

Your observer could carry out a case-study observation of students you identified who are easily distracted or those students who need challenging further to extend their thinking. Peer observation provides a new way of approaching a problem. It can help you to develop a fresh approach to managing a challenging group of learners or developing strategies for supporting students with specific learning needs.

This could be especially effective if the observer also has experience of teaching the same class or some of the same students and can share their experiences with you. Peer observation boosts confidence. It provides an opportunity to work with someone who understands the daily demands of the classroom, and this can help relax you. It is also a good reminder that all colleagues have parts of their teaching that can be developed, regardless of how long they have taught or what position they hold in the school.

Peer observation encourages reflection. Being reflective is crucial to developing your teaching and learning. Being observed gives you the opportunity to reflect, both before and after the observation, giving you the space to stop and think about how you teach.

Peer observation develops communication skills. Being an observer gives you the opportunity to discuss teaching and learning and practise giving constructive feedback, using evidence from the observation.

Peer observation helps you to reflect on your own teaching. When observing you can pick up useful strategies and solve issues that arise in your own teaching. Also, you may teach some of the same students that are in the observation lesson. It can be enlightening to see how students react differently in other subject areas, with different groups of learners and in different classroom layouts. It can contribute to the development of the whole school by creating a professional learning community dedicated to improvement.

By opening up the classroom and sharing strengths with each other, good practice is seen and celebrated. Importantly, areas for development are highlighted and colleagues then work together to plan next steps. Peer observation can improve teaching and learning in a school. It gives colleagues the opportunity to learn from each other, with the aim of improving teaching practice and gaining new ideas. John Hattie Hattie, Masters and Birch, notes that a shared approach to professional development has been proven to improve teacher effectiveness.


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