Ahead of Observing Learning Week, here are a some thoughts on the benefits of observing colleagues’ practice…
Why bother with observation? Some people panic at the thought of being ‘judged’ or feel they need to spend hours planning a dazzling lesson, whilst others relish the opportunity to show off their skills.
But why should we bother?
Ten good reasons why we should engage with mutual observation:
- Research says that observing others has a measurable positive impact on teachers’ professional development.
- It helps create a buzz about teaching and learning and reminds us all why we became teachers in the first place.
- Sharing good practice by watching each other is a powerful tool for disseminating what we do well.
- Mutual observation is not judgemental or evaluative so we can learn from each other in a non-threatening way.
- Conducted correctly it is a constructive process of mutual benefit.
- It helps create an atmosphere of trust between teachers and can encourage us to get to know other colleagues better.
- It gives us a legitimate reason to be nosey – fulfil your curiosity about what actually goes on in other parts of the school. Visit classrooms you have never seen before!
- MO helps generate a culture of openness and a willingness to address areas of our practice we are less confident with… and to improve them!
- Reflection – it makes us think about why we do what we do and helps us question habits that may not be benefiting our pupils.
- MO helps create an ongoing dialogue about T&L which we can all participate in.
Some links to interesting articles on the benefits of peer observation: