Encouraging reflective teaching

The teacher supervision and evaluation process in our school involves observing teaching and learning through “walk-throughs” of approximately 10 minutes’ duration, and “informal observations” that last roughly 30 minutes.   All observations are unannounced.

For all the teachers I supervise, I have completed one walk-through, and am now proceeding with informal observations.   After each observation, I invite the teachers to participate in an optional post-observation conference.  So far, two out of three teachers have come in for a conference.

The two experiences were very different.  The first one went very well, I thought.  I could see I was pushing the teacher’s thinking: he needed time to answer, and he was coming up with ideas and problem solving on the spot.  Afterwards he agreed that the process was very helpful.

The second conference also went well, in that the teacher felt that it highlighted a few strategies he needs to include regularly.  However, during the conversation, I did not feel like I was pushing his thinking to the same extent as with the first teacher.  The second teacher was able to respond to my probing quite quickly in all instances.  It was clear that he had carefully considered many aspects of the lesson and the unit already.

In conclusion, I feel as if I have made a good start this year, applying my knowledge from the PTC course: Instructional Supervision and Evaluation – the Teaching Process.  However, clearly I need to work on extending the thinking of the most seasoned, reflective teachers.  I look forward to more opportunities to improve on this.

About eadurkin

Originally a HS Mathematics teacher from New Zealand, currently working as Associate Principal in the Secondary School at Canadian Academy, an international school in Kobe, Japan. Married with two children.
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