“To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe” Marilyn Vos Savant
Observing other teachers is a valuable way to further professional development at any stage of your teaching career. Done properly, it can benefit both observer and observee by providing the opportunity for critical reflection of teaching issues in real time without the stress-factor of evaluation.
The talk starts with a poll about your experience of peer observation. The live audience also had the opportunity to share their feelings about observation in the live chat. This led to a summary of the potential benefits and drawbacks.
We then presented a model for peer observation, reflection and feedback. This included identifying aims and focus for the observation; plus agreeing communication between observer and observee. We discussed video as an alternative for live observation and introduce the British Council Teaching for Success MOOC as a source for this. The audience chose an observation task and watched a condensed writing lesson, using video from the CPD week of the MOOC.
After the video, the audience broke out into chat rooms to discuss reflections from the observation. Some of these were shared with the whole audience. The presentation finished by watching a recorded reflection from the observed teacher to compare to your own thoughts.
Finally, the other opportunities afforded by the MOOC were outlined, as a potential avenue for your own CPD.
About the speakers:
Suzanne Mordue is an Elearning Consultant for the British Council. She has taught EFL in Japan, Korea, and Slovakia. She has also made presentations at many international conferences both on and offline. She is an advocate of online learning as a means to self development and is now involved in developing British Council global products. She is also an educator on the British Council teacher training MOOCs. You can find more out about Suzanne by visiting her portfolio: http://suzannemordue.wordpress.com/
Claire Ross is a freelance teacher trainer and course developer. She has worked in teacher training since 2005, including managing English language projects for the British Council in Lebanon for four years. Based in the Middle East for 11 years, Claire has also taught English and delivered teacher training in Estonia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Malaysia and Algeria. She regularly runs CELTA courses. Claire has been a part of several teams developing teacher training materials for the British Council, most recently creating a suite of Teacher Development MOOCs, which she talked about at this year’s IATEFL conference. You can watch her presentation about online social interaction and find out more about the MOOCs here: https://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2016/session/forum-moocs.