Who likes being observed? Hands up … You! You! At the back … is that a hand being raised? Nope? Didn’t think so.
Every school has those teachers that seem to thrive on being observed. You know, the ones that are always “chosen” as a showpiece whenever there are visitors (or even a colleague) whom for whatever reason wants to see so-called good practice. You know the type don’t you? They are either quietly confident about their ability, or worse, the “I’m the mutts nuts” and have a kind of swagger as they walk down the corridor. I have no idea how you get to be one of the “chosen” (I suspect its a bit like the Illuminati!) and in fact on the ONE occasion when I was asked (a long time ago, probably when I was less cynical) and I am going to be brutally honest, I was VERY flattered. In hindsight I would defy anyone not to pull out all the stops … it was a massive ego boost. Now that’s got me thinking … rather than having a select “few” as showcases, share the love around – every single teacher (there will of course be exceptions) will get such a kick out of being asked (an old boss of mine would say that “you blow the wind up someone’s a&$e”) that they won’t let you down. It’s never going to happen and I haven’t really thought the idea through!
Time has since moved on, and I’m just going to say it … “my name’s Mel and I hate observations” which is why I breathed a huge sigh of relief and have actually had some “me” time for a change, having got one of my PM observations over and done with yesterday. I did ask not to be told my grade, as I’m really not interested and don’t believe it to be a true reflection on me as a teacher (nevertheless I was told!!) – I think that there are better ways to performance manage teachers, and whilst observations have their place in the process it should only be part of it. Being told you are a “1” a “2” or any other number, based on an observation does NOT define me as a teacher, in the same way that a job title does not define me as a person, what is important is the progress the students are making (in that particular group 93% will make 3 levels of progress, and 40% 4 levels of progress by the way!) … that is of course if my predictions come to fruition, and there are no guarantees!
Anyway, I don’t think I will ever grow to “like” observations – it was weird in the early days, having teachers in and out of my room all day – some in the department do this a LOT! (Seager!!) but the idea of actually looking forward to an observation is about as unlikely as hearing “hmmmm I really fancy a salad!” … it just aint gonna happen!!
** Mel is off to practice her swagger **