Where do observations go from here? by @TeacherToolkit

@TeacherToolkitIn 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the ‘most followed teacher on social media in the UK’. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the ‘500 Most Influential People in Britain’ by The Sunday… Read more about @TeacherToolkitThe plans to abandon grading observations; teachers or teaching – however you define it – is an opportunity for all schools to raise the profile of peer-to-peer coaching and finally eradicate the stigmata of pigeon-holing teachers!This is an article I have written for IRIS Connect, a tool to empower teachers to reflect, analyse and share teaching practice using video technology.Where do observations go from here?Where do we go from here?Photo Credit: Pulpolux !!! via Compfight ccThe plans to abandon grading observations; teachers or teaching – however you define it – is an opportunity for all schools to raise the profile of peer-to-peer coaching and finally eradicate the stigmata of pigeon-holing teachers!I am motivated to see how schools will take this forward, but I also have some reservations about deserting a national framework.If we stop grading lesson observations, how are we going to know that something ‘good’ has taken place in the classroom? Without any framework, if we do not know what is ‘good’, how do we know when we do, or when we do not see, good teaching?Lost?“If we do not know what is ‘good, how do we know what is ‘good’, and how do we know when we do?” Photo Credit: Diana Mehrez via Compfight ccRemoving the current framework for grading teaching, does not mean that an observer cannot assess the quality of ‘good’ teaching altogether. Consider this: If I walked into a lesson with the purpose of observing the teacher/teaching, I’ll instantly gather a picture of what is going on; whether this is good or not good. However, this information is influenced without a clear purpose and (possibly) with the observers perception of what ‘good teaching’ is. A framework will also guide and influence the observer.Reliability:Without a framework or an agreed focus, the process of observing what is ‘good’ becomes even more inaccurate and unreliable. Therefore, we need criteria in place in order to understand what is happening. By all means, let’s remove “Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate” headings because the desire to grade and measure has damaged so many of us! However, we all know too well that the vast majority of teachers still crave feedback (and possibly a judgement of sorts), and this will continue to be counter-productive when watchdogs; senior leadership teams and consultants fail to offer teachers, qualitative and quantitative feedback that develops them as a teacher.STOP by @DodgyEye(Pleased to be showcasing my own photography here)What would be your solution?A framework that outlines the qualities of what we aspire to as teachers, will only replace tit for tat. It is not that I think we must have something in place to replace the current framework for monitoring the quality of teaching and learning, but I do think the profession will crave a framework, and by definition, we will aspire to be the best we can.In short, the solution to guide us; is a peer-to-peer feedback framework for improving the quality of teaching and learning.To read the 2nd half of this article and my full analysis, click “Where do observations go from here?”Read on:I go on to ask the following questions:Are you the same teacher you were, when you first qualified?Will the strategies you employ in your classroom, be useful next term/year?What role does feedback play in the observation process?What is ‘sophisticated feedback’?How can feedback provide development?How are leadership teams in schools and colleges moving forward?To judge or not to judge?To frame or not to frame?More importantly, I’m keeping a close eye on how we curate a framework that will stand up against the evolution of teaching and the ever-changing needs of students. You can read my thoughts in more detail, here.To read the article on IRIS Connect, click “Where do observations go from here?End.(I have featured some of my own photography on this blog for the first time. To view my collections, click below).Follow @DodgyEyeFollow @DodgyEye on Twitter.51.511214-0.119824Related

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