5 Tips for Handling a Negative Teacher Observation Report
Master of Arts in Teaching Guide 5 Tips for Handling a Negative Teacher Observation Report A classroom observation report, which may also be referred to as a teacher observation report, is a form of peer review widely employed at universities and other institutions of higher education. It is an increasingly popular part of the movement to return a more localized sense of self-sufficiency to the American post-secondary educational system. The practice of classroom observation is also trickling its way down into junior high and high school classes, which has historically represented a gulf, as general concerns about the care of young children often leads to more frequent observance of this practice in elementary and middle school classrooms.
Here are five tips for handling a negative teacher observation report: Focus on the Positive Few classroom observation reports are entirely negative, and those that are will rarely come as a surprise. A teacher who has been the subject of an overall negative or critical report needs to focus on the positive aspects of the report, in an attempt to try and balance out the general impression which the report encourages.
There are many frequently overlooked factors which are easy to take for granted; how is classroom attendance? Despite a single negative classroom experience, are the students generally attentive?
What is the overall level of engagement? While classroom observations are often conducted in sweeps, there is also a significant amount of advance preparation, which includes the planning of solutions for potential problems that may already be expected. If you can react constructively to a negative observation report, regardless of personal feelings, this may actually turn out to be an opportunity for professional growth and advancement. Focus on Established Educational Standards At first glance, the suggestion to focus on established standards and rubrics seems like more of a preventative measure.
It certainly is that, but it also helps to bear this in mind after receiving a negative report. One of the worst things that a teacher can do, after a poor peer review, is to go all to pieces.
By losing touch with the positive behaviors you exemplify under normal circumstances, some of which may have been taken for granted, you undermine confidence in your overall ability. Whatever happens, stand by the established methods, and continue to function as you normally would. Draft a Written Response Most administrative faculty are receptive to a written response to a situation like this.
It also fosters the idea that the teacher in question is dedicated to their professional responsibility. Much as is the case in the political world, a written letter carries significantly more weight than an oral account, creating a more lasting and indelible impression. Perhaps the most important piece of advice to remember with regard to a negative classroom observation report is to avoid reading too far into it.
A proper report, despite being potentially negative, limits itself to observations which are relevant to the situation directly at hand. Some of these negative elements will have explanations.
Lesson observation feedback: How to go from crippling critique to collaborative conversation
Lesson observation feedback: How to go from crippling critique to collaborative conversation Guest blog from Josh Roy, Teacher at Ernest Bevin Having trained in a challenging environment, being deprived of meaningful in-school feedback for about two years, and being bombarded with observations from all possible sides, I feel I should be better placed than any to take criticism.
In fact, in my short career, it seems no individual is entirely impervious to the feeling of impending doom caused by the inexorable lesson observation.
What is this feeling and why does it affect teaching? This discourages autonomy and steers teachers away from exploring what works best for them. This is particularly true when feedback is a solution that fits with the practice and style of the teacher giving the advice, not the teacher being observed; teaching is profoundly human and therefore individual.
It can lead recipients of feedback to feel as if their wisdom is being challenged, and this can be taken personally because we work in one of the few professions where our personal values are so closely entwined with our professional ones. When this has been acknowledged in how feedback is given, it has not only improved my practice but made me far more willing and confident in improving my practice.
We all have something to bring, and observers too have the experience to help shape us into the best practitioners we can be. This can be better recognised through observation and feedback. But how could this process go from critical to collaborative?
It should not be conceptualised as a performative measure, where one judges the other, but a supportive one, where one collaborates with the other. The difference may seem pedantic, but for me, the difference in how this kind of effective feedback made me feel, and subsequently respond, has been huge.
Open conversation starters and points for discussion made it a joint, evenly footed process. This method is simply a different framing of the process. Feedback can be a supportive reminder that we are part of a profession that demands constant and creative evolution, and so we should evolve collaboratively.
Find out how IRIS Connect can support a more collaborative lesson observation culture in your school today.
Teacher Observation Feedback that S.T.I.C.K.S.
What I did to overcome these bad lesson observations I cried. I allowed myself a weekend to feel upset and talk it out with people close to me and then I decided to pick myself back up and give it one more shot. Bottling up how you feel will never allow you to move on from it. I asked for help and advice. There was another Year 5 teacher in my team who to this day I am grateful to have met herwho shared any advice with me she had to help.
As well as that, if we were teaching a new genre in Writing, she would give me samples of what a good one looked like.
How to Deal With Negative Teaching Evaluations
This way, I knew what to expect and what to model to the children. Lastly, if we had a learning walk where management would pop in to all classes looking at displays coming up, she would pop in and check I had everything that she knew they looked out for. She was an experienced teacher, who knew how to guide a newly qualified teacher. I reduced my workload to allow more time spent on the teaching and learning aspect of my job.
When being observed, you need to essentially prove to that person that you have: Good subject knowledge. Good behavior management- that children display a behavior FOR learning. The ability to teach to a variety of learners, while showing progression for each student. Along with many other things of course. To reduce my marking: I allowed children to peer-assess twice a week, self-assess twice a week and I make one piece each week.
This reduced my corrections by hours each week. As well as that, the children benefited much more from correcting work too as they could then notice their own mistakes. To reduce my resourcing of lessons: I stopped trying to reinvent the wheel.
Dealing with Observation Feedback
I tried to make PowerPoints and differentiated activities for each lesson, which again left me overworked and unable to spend more time on the actual delivery of the lesson. Teachers Pay Teachers as well as many other teaching sites, more than likely have exactly what you need. All you have to do is search for them. I value my time way too much now. All of these little reductions, gave me more time to focus on how I was going to actually teach the lessons.
I started to see improvements in my self-confidence as a teacher, as well as an improvement on the day-to-day running of a classroom. The fact is, most of us have. My biggest advice is find a colleague you trust and keep asking questions. Your time outside school is yours. Did you not explain things well?
A bad lesson observation: advice for teachers
Did you exclude certain students from the discussion? Did you just read out the lectures? Were you disrespectful of student ideas?
Those are all things that you can work at. They can help you weed out irrelevant content, interpret comments that feel like personal attacks, and advise you on how to put the feedback to good use. Do your homework. My first reflex after receiving those evals was to read every teaching guide I could get my hands on. I soon realized that due to my lack of experience I was basically thrown into the classroom without any training I made terrible mistakes I could have easily avoided.
Talking about inexperience, negative student reviews are frequently a reflection of insufficient teacher training. If you want to or have to stick with teaching, seek out opportunities for further training. If the teaching evaluations are really bad, talk to your supervisor. If the supervisor-talk sounds too intimidating you could approach some other senior colleagues you trust. Know the facts. Research shows that student evaluations often are more positive in courses that are smaller rather than larger and elective rather than required.
Also, evaluations are usually more positive in courses in which students tend to do well.