Observation of Practice – Learning Together

What if we lend another our perspective?

What if we focus on what is happening in classrooms in purposeful and focused ways? What if we model and embrace formative assessment of our practice?

What if we add additional feedback loops in our culture?  How and when do adults in our schools receive formative feedback? If I have a question about my practice, how do I and from whom do I seek feedback?  If, as a school, we are studying formative assessment, self-assessment, and peer feedback, how are we practicing? Do I blog, journal, or keep a portfolio of my learning?  What might I want to learn? Are my students learning?

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Reading, Research, and Questions

How might we learn more about our practice? What if we team to discuss questions, concerns, and strengths of our learning environment, classroom culture, and planned learning episodes? What might we learn if we observe each other and discuss what we see, experience, and design?

What if we reflect, self-assess, and coach peers using the following protocol:

  • As a result of this observation of practice and feedback loop, which aspects of my teaching do I feel are bright spots?

  • As a result of this observation of practice and feedback loop, what questions do I have about my own teaching?

  • As a result of this observation of practice and feedback loop, what new ideas do I have?

In other words, will I see myself in my colleagues? Will I recognize effective strategies that we both use? Will I observe strategies that I might like to try? Will I want to know more about the instructional design? Will we ask each other questions where we need support?

As we piloted this 1-PLU course last spring, I enjoyed the observations and writing the reflections. I liked the emphasis on bright spots and questions about my own practice.  However, the most powerful part of this learning experience was the debrief after each lesson.  I was wowed by the questions, the vulnerability, and the humanity of discussions.

What if we shift the focus of peer observations from observing our peers to observing the products of their work – the actions of students?

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