I had a formal observation today. What I mean is, I was the one being observed. (Usually it’s the other way around. I do 2-4 observations a quarter.) Every one of us, even the master and mentor teachers, needs to be observed once each quarter, and this was my last observation of the year.
The mentor teacher who observed me is a fifth grade teacher, who seemed delighted at the chance to observe someone who is outside her world of upper-primary and middle school (usually she works with the middle school teachers). She also mentioned, somewhat wryly, that her last visit to a preschool was when her children were that age, and let’s just say, that was a loooong time ago.
The odd thing was, I was nervous. I had a hard time concentrating on preparing for my lesson before school started, and during prep, Jan was laughing at me because it was so odd to see me so discombobulated. I saw my master teacher in the office when I was getting something off the printer, and I told her, “I’m nervous about my observation!” She just rolled her eyes at me and told me not to be ridiculous.
My master teacher was the one who did my most recent observation, and that lesson rocked. She gave me awesome scores, and I was absolutely thrilled. So I know I’m a good teacher, and I know that I know my stuff. I’m also usually so confident….
Back to the room. I finally got my head together and I carried off the lesson on ordering the numbers 1-6, with my audience of special ed teacher, parent volunteer, para, and the mentor, who was madly scribbling notes. (Have I mentioned my trained monkey routine? I am always being watched. It is never just me and the kids. I’m used to it, but some days….)
And it went okay. I mean, it went well, but I can think of lots of things I could have done better. I didn’t ask good enough questions. And did they all get it? Some of my kids don’t know all the number names to six; why was I asking them to put the numbers in order? And the fact that Miss L. was falling apart the whole time didn’t really help.
On the plus side, I had three kids (including Z., who had wonderful braids and ponytails all over her head in honor of Crazy Hair Day) order the numbers 0-19 with no sweat, and the stuff I did in the whole group was pretty cool.
This stuff can make you crazy, though. I think I’ll go into my final observations of the year feeling more mellow and more forgiving than ever. School is almost over, after all.