After school today we had our monthly Middle Years Program meeting. One of the things we worked at this meeting was vertical planning, which is when a bunch of people teaching the same subject at different levels meet to attempt to ensure continuity within that subject. They are themselves very useful meetings, and if you aren’t having them yet at your school, you should be. One of the things that I brought up in this meeting is how much I’d like to be able to observe everyone else teaching.
I remember when I first started teaching I used to go an observe other teachers all the time. I probably did 20 or 30 informal observations of my colleagues in my first 2 years teaching. I found these sessions extremely useful as they allowed me a chance to see what other educators did. Not everyone I observed was awesome, but to be honest, watching someone else make mistakes helps prevent you from making the same mistakes.
I never really got the same opportunity in the last two schools I worked at, so I decided to bring up the topic of peer observation and see how it went. My colleagues, who are awesome, were totally into it. So I borrowed a copy of the master teacher schedule, which for some reason I just found out about today, and am going to plan some sessions asap. I’m very excited.
Without being able to see what other educators DO, my own practice will stagnate. I may be able to prop up my practice by experimenting with the usefulness of new technologies, but I’d really like to improve my own practice, both through observing other educators, and by having my own practice critiqued.
I’ll let you know how it goes.