Like most English teachers, I learnt on the job. Whilst the CELTA was a great (and essential) introduction to what and how to teach, the majority of my language awareness, teaching skills and approaches have developed in the classroom. As Aristotle once said, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
But I don’t think we should ever exclude a ‘watch and learn’ input to developing our teaching skills. Like many teachers I feel a little nauseous at the prospect of being observed by a peer or senior, but I have never yet failed to reap the rewards during a feedback session where I thrive on the opportunity to analyse and discuss a lesson with someone who knows the profession. If I’m being observed by a colleague I respect and trust I often take the opportunity to try out a new idea that I want feedback on.
Similarly, I have never yet failed to feel the benefits of observing my peers. In my relatively short time in the profession I’ve tried to observe teachers whenever the opportunity arises, and on each occasion I’ve learnt something new – either about teaching in general or about myself as a teacher.
So I thought it time to start sharing my notes from particularly interesting observations. I have a file full of notes about this but it’s somewhere in storage, so I’ll start from more recent sessions. See the drop down menu for individual lesson observations.