This may be a nerve-wracking and intimidating notion but around the beginning of the new year, I urge student teachers (not practicum students) to invite your administrator (principal) to observe them teach a lesson.
Here are some of the reasons this observation is important:
- As part of the interview process for teachers, school districts are asking teachers to do a “practical interview.” A practical interview allows you to teach a short lesson while the administrator observes you.
- The school you are teaching in may be a place you want to apply for a teaching job. If the administrator has had a chance to watch you teach while you are student teaching, they will be able to be knowledgeable about your style of teaching, ability to manage a classroom and conduct an engaging lesson.
- Inviting an administrator to observe you teach reminds them you are at the school: School administrators are busy and unless you go out of your way to ask, they may not go out of their way to come observe you.
- Express to the principal that you would like the opportunity to also get their feedback after the observation. This may lead to a follow-up meeting where you can debrief and reflect on your teaching.
Think of how you will ask the administrator to come observe you:
- You can send an email inviting the principal to come watch you teach. You may want to suggest a couple of dates and times you know an engaging lesson will be taught.
- Stop by the office and see if they would be willing to set up an observation.
What do you do after the observation?
- Try to find a time with the principal to go over the observation and notes. The way you handle the feedback and your reflections are valuable and productive.
- Take notes, and stay open to the feedback.
- Send a follow up email or hand written thank you note. Thank the principal for taking the time to observe you and give thoughtful feedback for you to improve your teaching. The Power Of The Thank-You Note
How do you feel about inviting your principal to come watch you teach?