When you are a teacher, you feel like your classroom is your domain and that it is the one place where you are in charge and in control of your environment. As such, it can feel scary when an administrator, parent, or another school official wants to do a classroom walkthrough or classroom observation. Before you panic about an upcoming classroom observation, get to know a few of the reasons that teachers should not worry about classroom observations. Then, you can better relax and handle the situation on the day of your classroom observation.
Classroom Observation Makes You Think About Your Teaching Skills and Style
One of the many reasons that you should not worry about classroom evaluations and observations is the reason they exist. Classroom observation is designed to help teachers reevaluate their own work in the classroom periodically and fine-tune the way that they manage their classroom.
When you know you are going to have a classroom observation, you might spend more time on your lesson plans and create more innovative activities for your class than you might on an average day. In other words, classroom evaluations help teachers perform at their best and push themselves further than they might otherwise.
This is a positive thing for you and your classroom as it allows you to think about your teaching skills, your weak points, and your teaching style. You get to fine-tune things for the day of the observation (and hopefully for the rest of the days following) and self-evaluate periodically.
Classroom Observations Are Not About Punishment
Many teachers feel that when they are assigned a classroom observation that the person coming into their classroom is there to tell them what they are doing wrong. In other words, they fear that having their teaching observed is more about punishing them for something they are doing "wrong" rather than helping or supporting them. This is not true.
Oftentimes, particularly when classroom observations are performed by school officials or fellow teachers, the idea is to simply check in with each teacher and see how they are doing. Teaching is a tough job and it can be easy to get so caught up in the routine every day that you might miss opportunities for change and improvement. An evaluation is designed to help you realize these areas for improvement.
You will not be punished for making a mistake in your classroom or for the way that you teach. You will instead receive feedback (either positive or constructive criticism) to help you know where to focus your efforts and what you can improve upon going forward. Think of your classroom observation as a helping hand and you will be able to stop worrying about the idea and start embracing it.
Now that you know a few of the reasons that you should not be worried about your classroom observations, you can go forward less stressed and worried about your next opportunity to have someone sit in on your classroom.