Classroom observation is very important to help our teaching and learning process be more effective. It is done to check if teachers are holding the classes using all the needed materials and imparting knowledge in a sequenced process. Modern day learning emphasises more on breaking each concept into small pieces so that students can get clarity about it. Observation is done to check if concepts are being broken and if the teacher in the class is helping each child present in the class.
So, without doubt, it is a process to maintain the standard of teaching, but on the other hand, it is difficult for the teacher who is being observed because of the stress they face while the observation process is going on. It is said that even the observer feels stressed as they need to meet certain criteria and objectives and must face bureaucracy.
I remember once when I was being observed when I was teaching in a class, I got nervous and forgot half of the concept. This is how teachers might get stressed if there is a feeling that someone is observing them.
In this article, we are going to discuss the purpose of class observation.
The most important aspect of classroom observation is to ensure that the students are learning effectively. There are various names we can use for classroom observations, like teacher observation, lesson walkthroughs, learning walks, etc. Whatever the name could be, the idea behind observing a class is to know whether the teaching-learning process is going on in a standard manner decided earlier.
It is done to check if teaching is child-centric and if the best possible classroom environment is being provided to the pupils. It is to ensure that each child is learning in the class and nobody is left behind.
It is also done to check the skills and knowledge of the teacher so that proper training can be provided to bring out the best possible abilities of the teacher.
Things to prepare before observing a class
- know the purpose of observation
- Training procedure for the observers
- specific observational aim.
- Creating a setting for observation
- Planning the time span for the observation
- Schedule of observation
- data observation method
- method to process and analyse the data
The advantages of observing a classroom
Accumulate more information
Through observation, an evaluator can evaluate whether the teacher is conducting his/her class effectively. Whether they are using all the techniques to make the teaching and learning process more effective and if they have created a rapport between the students.
It helps in providing feedback
Observation is done mainly to check the new teachers or the special education teachers. But it can provide benefit to all the teachers if it is done with the focus on developing a teacher’s skills rather than pointing out their weaknesses.
Proper training can be provided to teachers in the area of their development and mould them into being effective teachers.
Focus on improvement
Teachers, on their part, would improve themselves based on feedback provided to them. They might also take the observation process in a positive way rather than getting nervous about it.
Disadvantages of classroom observation
All good things have some or other disadvantages, but most of them are created by the people who are working on them.
Feelings of power
Once one is made an observer, he/she feels that they have the power to make or break any teacher. The positivity of observing a class is totally ruined, and instead the school starts to look more like a political battle ground. If the observer has some or other glitch with the teacher being observed, they will never give good feedback to that teacher.
Therefore, there must be more than one observer, and none of them be senior or junior to the other, so that a teacher can be given feedback, taking the perspective of more than one observer.
Feelings of anxiety
Whether or not a teacher was informed earlier about the observation schedule, there would be natural anxiety within them. They might feel nervous and forget what they were teaching or make silly mistakes.
The flow of the class is broken as soon as any observer enters the class. The focus of the students shifts from the lesson to why there is another teacher in the class.
We all know that classroom observation is important to maintaining the standard of education in a class. In schools where this process is not followed, the teaching and learning process do not take place in an effective manner. Though our teachers feel nervous, but then too, it is essential for the benefit of each student.