As you may have heard, last month’s Springboard get-together was a success. We’ve got a framework for running a teacher-to-teacher peer observation process, aimed at providing professional development for teachers.
It’s an idealistic endeavor, to provide this as a free service. But my hope is that teachers will benefit immensely. What came out of last month’s chat was that teachers can and want to do this already. What they need is a process through which to realize it. I recognize it as an opportunity that is lacking in other places, and I anticipate that teachers will take advantage of it in order to add significant value to their career.
What’s also unique about this, is that the person observing is not evaluating the person who is observed. It’s not a check to see that you’re doing your job correctly or not. It’s an opportunity for the person observing and the person who is observed to grow professionally in a friendly and inclusive learning environment.
The observer shares their experience, but is a learner in the process as well. Also, the person observed sets areas that they themselves want to be focused on. In the end it’s mutually beneficial. We’re sharing successful teaching approaches and as a result, will identify and solve common problems.
Once there are enough willing participants, the process is largely self-sufficient. Two teachers find times when they can observe each others’ lessons, get in touch by email, and meet for 15 to 30 minutes afterwards to discuss what happened.
The result is what’s at the heart of this network and blog: Springboarding into better teaching.
Check out the plan here, and comment below to add your lessons to the calendar, and to find times when you can sit in on others’ lessons.