Few things are more daunting for brand new teachers than your first classroom observation. Keeping your students' attention and following your lesson plans is hard enough, without the added pressure of a more experienced teacher or school principal observing and evaluating your performance. Luckily, there are specific things you can do to help your first classroom observation go smoothly. Here are five tips:
Follow a Set Lesson Plan
Your first classroom observation is not the time to wing it. Instead, create a structured lesson plan to follow. This will keep you organized and focused on the next step of your lesson plan, leaving little time to panic or worry. It will also keep your class time flowing in an orderly way that will be easier for both your students and your observer to follow.
Do Your Homework on the Observer
One way to ease your mind is to learn as much as possible about your classroom observer ahead of time. Ask your fellow teachers for helpful information, like if there are specific things the observer is known for grading down on or looking for. Your colleagues will most likely help ease your mind and reassure you that classroom evaluations aren't as scary as you may think.
Prepare Your Students
It's also a good idea to let your students know that the classroom will be observed on a specific day. Emphasize that it's important to you that everyone show up on time, prepared, and with their homework completed. Create a collaborative environment and treat your classroom observation as a team effort between you and your students.
Take Some Time to Center Yourself
Before your classroom observation, be sure to take some time to center yourself and feel calm. You may want to wake up extra early that day to make sure your classroom artifacts and supplies are organized. Do some deep breathing, stretch, and play soothing music. The more relaxed you are, the more natural your teaching will come across to your evaluator.
Don't Get Defensive
Be prepared for both positive and negative feedback from your evaluator. Remember that it's normal to have areas of your teaching style that could use improvement. Don't expect a perfect evaluation and instead look at any criticism as a chance to learn and improve.
By following these tips, your first classroom observation will go much more smoothly and you will be sure to impress your evaluator.