Aiming For Academic Success Through Observation and Reflection

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Sitting in on other established teacher’s classes is a vital part of teacher training programs. The benefit in this practice is that it helps give exposure and guidance to the men and women training for a profession in the field of education. As valuable as book learning is, there is no match for watching an actual classroom in action. Viewing and reflecting on daily routines, time and behavior management, and teacher student dynamics are all beneficial aspects stemming from noting an actual classroom experience. Read on for more information about the many ways this practice leads to betterment for all. 


Promising new teachers can gain a lot of wisdom from watching seasoned teachers in action. Years of classroom and life experience make time honored teachers who they are today. Many years of professional development training also make teachers who they are. Whether a teacher in training conducts classroom observation on the same age or subject level he or she intends to teach, or on a different one, there is much knowledge to gain. It is a great way for educators in training to evaluate or even re evaluate the actions, dynamics, and atmosphere they hope to create in their future classrooms. It is even a way that educators already placed in classrooms can have exposure for future times when supervisors and principals conduct observations. As this is usually part of teacher evaluations, they can experience what it is like to have another set of eyes in the classroom. This may make teachers aware of any unintentional imbalances, such as calling on boys more than girls or vice versa during certain activities. 


The best observation experiences involve not only the in person component, but also reflection opportunities after the observation. This may unfold as an informal time when the teaching in training may ask questions and converse with the seasoned teacher. This may additionally involve a time when the educator in training completes a writing about what they have seen and experienced. They may wish to make connections and tie ins with books or lectures they have been exposed to during other portions of their teacher training program. Educators in training may even then experience further reflection and improvement by sharing with or submitting these writings to their adviser or other educators involved in the program. The room for improvement continues to increase as more and more reflection occurs. 

As much as teachers aim for academic success with their students, the truth is that teachers are all unique individuals and have separate sets of goals and even expectations. These ideas must be meshed with the goals and expectations of the school district the teacher instructs within. Doing observation is just one of many ways that educators in training can grow and improve even before being in charge of students. While in a classroom, teachers in training can observe not only instructional methods, but also interactions between students and between the teacher and the students. Some classrooms also involve instructional aides, and this is another chance to evaluate interactions and dynamics. The benefits of observation maximize the learning and improvement chances for all involved.


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