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Re: observation vent


Date: Fri Nov 09 2001 - 21:08:43 PST

Way back when I was student teaching, I remember vividly the day I had my
first obsevation by my university supervisor. I had given a class of 4th
graders a drawing assignment that they were so excited about, that they were
on the verge of rowdy. I was dying, thinking I'd be reprimanded. Instead, I
was congratulated for getting the kids to be enthusiastic about learning, and
got an outstanding observation. Two years later, when I was a sub, ( a
successful, good sub! LOL) I did a leave replacement for a regular 6th
grade teacher, even though in my heart I'm an Art teacher. I had to be
observed by the principal, who was such a kind man. I did a terrific
language arts lesson where I taught the kids figurative speech, culminating
the lesson with drawing a literal representation of an idiom, which I had the
students pick from a hat. It was phenomenal! The kids were looking up the
meaning of their idioms and while they were drawing they'd get up from their
seats and ask each other what each other's idiom meant and looked at each
other's drawings. (They did it calmly and politely I might add, but
happily.) I wasn't worried at all, it went perfectly, well-timed and
terrific! The principal complimented me on his way out. When I got the
written observation, under "recommendations" was some kind of comment to the
effect that the chidren should have stayed in their seats and that I should
have corrected them because there was too much movement in the room. He knew
I was an art teacher! (I cried too, I was so frustrated!) ...Some people
have a hard time thinking outside the box. I was a classroom teacher at
that moment to him. If I had been the art teacher's leave-replacement, he
probably wouldn't have noticed the movement in the room at all!

Just the other day, my principal in my current school came up to see me in my
class and marveled how the kids (8th grade) seemed to LOVE artand be so into
working. (These are usually badly behaved kids for everyone.) She said,
"They're so loud, but watch them, they are really into it!" I told her that
if we were deaf, we'd see only how hard they were working! We had a good

So, it depends on who's observing, and what they want to see. I'd rather
have kids enjoying art, than a bunch of students sitting quietly like
emotionless zombies. Also remember, administrators are taught that no one is
perfect. They look for things to say, like the shades are crooked. Consider
comments like that a compliment--it means that can't find anything to

BTW, my new position as a staff developer starts Thursday... I get to meet
and stay with my replacement teacher Tuesday and Wednesday...

I will miss my kids, even though they can be a challenge, but I won't miss
the feeling I'd get whenever someone came in to observe!

Holly :0)

....<SNIP>he's not in tune with the latest in brain research
indicating that when the brain is engaged in TALKING it has the most 'parts'
active...the 'best' learning involves talking. Sheesh...I could see
mentioning too much noise and following it up with specific examples, etc.
of kids goofing off, etc. but if they were just excited & engaged in the
learning then it's absolutely educationally sound!