However much reading you do about teaching and however much planning you do for individual lessons, most teachers would agree that everything changes once you reach the classroom. That’s why trainee and newly qualified teachers spend a lot of time watching experienced colleagues – reflecting on how they lead different parts of a lesson and how they interact with students. Andof course, even when you’ve been teaching for many years you can nearly always pick something up new from a lesson observation!
But this process is going to be very difficult in the ‘new normal’ of the Covid pandemic. Teachers and students are in ‘bubbles’ of different types and even teachers working at a school full time may be unable to watch lessons in person outside of their bubble. Those on training programmes will find it especially difficult to get real opportunities to see lessons in person, much less be able to walk around a room and see what students are doing in response to new learning opportunities.
The most practical solution is to use video technology that enables video-based observation. But rather than just using this to replace traditional observation, it can also provideopportunities to develop teachers even further through pre- and post- lesson dialogue.
What if theprocess below could happen at your teacher training institute or school?
1. A teacher talks remotely to a classroom teacher about their proposed lesson and the area they would like to focus their observation on. The teacher can point out techniques or tools they use to watch out for, or provide notes in advance for the observer to follow new concepts introduced in the lesson.
2. The lesson is recorded on video and shared with the observer. Depending on the system used to record the video this might involve sharing the whole lesson or particular parts of it. It could involve watching the teacher or perhaps a student or group of students. ONVU Learning’s Lessonvu system allows for the whole classroom space to be recorded and this decision to be taken later –and students and the teacher can be watched simultaneously!
3. The observer can then watch the lesson in their own time. Rewinding and re–watching key areas as needed and making notesof good practice as well as questions for the teacher.
4. The trainee and classroom teacher can then remotely discuss the lesson and the observer’s prepared questions.
5. At the end of this process the observer could then do some further research and background reading to understand why the teacher had made particular decisions in the classroom – or discuss this with a professional mentor or university tutor. And the correct permissions, a clip from the video could be used as part of an assignment for a teaching qualification (or a higher degree for experienced teachers).
Join us for an exclusive webinar:
Lesson Observation – Innovating in the New Normal
ONVU Learning is hosting a webinar for those responsible for teacher training and development that will bring together school leaders, teachers, expert coaches and technologists to discuss these issues.