March 17, 2017

The 5 Stages of the Teacher Observation Cycle: Or I Did Survived!

Woot!  I'm done!  The torture of this year's Teacher Observation Cycle is FINISHED for me!  Well, um, at least the formal one!  I've got one more walk-through to go, but the tough stuff is finished!  So, let's take a moment to reflect on the stages one goes through while enjoying the fine process of exposing our every moment of teaching to what feels like the WHOLE WORLD!  So, I'm joining up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for 5 For Friday!! Here are the 5 Stages of the Teacher Observation System


You know the feeling.  They put out the email, you rush to reply and sign-up!  This stage is kinda like child birth!  You can't remember what it is like the second time around. You have forgotten labor and delivery.  Well, you know you forget the pain of this thing too!  You think about how it won't be that bad!  You think about how it will be better this time: less time on paperwork, less time to stress, it will totally be fine!  AND, this is a whole different "baby".  You will get to experience something that will be "totally different"!  Who are we kidding!  We are totally tricking ourselves into the whole "labor and delivery will be fine the second time around" trick!  Yep-the Get-er-Done stage!  

Mind Changer

This begins to happen as you complete the paper work.  Will my lesson work-you know, the one I spent the last 50 million hours thinking about!  Should I even do that subject???  Maybe I should reschedule???  It happens EVERY SINGLE TIME!  You could be 24 hours out of the administration walking in your door and you will still be thinking about ditching everything you just wrote and do something totally different!  Mind Changer!

The Mad Dash

This is what happens in the last 24 hours before your observation.  In most cases, this includes your pre-observation.  The first of many tortures to come!  You sit in the room with your administrators feeling like a piece of meat at the supermarket!  Did I wrap what I just said with the right plastic wrap!  Does this have too much fat?  Is this lesson a prime cut or a cheap piece of beef?!  Am I rotting away without anyone purchasing me!  Yep!   You feel like that rotten piece of meat when you leave.  But, it doesn't stop there!  

You head back to your classroom and start gathering EVERY. LITTLE. THING. you need for this crazy display of your talents.  Chart paper is flying!  Every colored marker is placed in just the right spot.  The copy machine is spitting out endless pages for students to use just in case they finish the activity in five seconds and you don't have a single thing to do because the administration will be in there for what feels like an eternity.  About 3 hours AFTER you should go home, you finally do.  Only to then write out EVERY.  LITTLE.  DETAIL.  of that lesson so that you remember what to do, how to do it, and how to say it!  Only to discover you also did this while sleeping-so you've had none!  And now to only discover they are here...and it's time....and, happens!

Desperately Waiting 

Now you have to wait... and wait...and wait!  For what seems like an eternity, you start to go back to Stage 2.  You start to question every part of the lesson.  Should I have done something different? Should I go in and beg for forgiveness and ask them to ditch the whole thing and do it again!  Can we PLEASE JUST MEET THIS SECOND AND CAN YOU JUST GET IT OVER WITH  NOW!  You see the administrator in the hall and just hope, for once, they will give you just a hint of how you did! All the while, that pit in your stomach is screaming, "RUN NOW!  As fast as you can-RUN!"  To finally arrive at the day of...


Of course, relief doesn't arrive till you have to sit through hearing Domain 1, Domain 3, Domain 2 and Domain 4's information.  You are just wait waiTING, WAITING for the ball to drop, the ship to sink moment.  "It's coming next, I know it is" is the constant thought in your head as they go over each area like they have all the time in the world!  All the while you are just thinking, "Tell me I'm great first!! Then tell me my scores and all the gory details!"  When you finally walk out that door, relief overwhelms you and you are numb.  I've started to call this Observation-Hangover!  But, gradually, it all lifts and you discover that all is right with the world, you can smile again, and you really are a great teacher!  

And that's the whole point isn't it.  We need to remember we are GREAT teachers.  One moment, 45 minutes or so,  of time is not who you are.  As we see these changes in our system, we must fight for who we are and that our quality is still quality, our passion is still passion, and our students still come first!  We can do this thing and still deliver quality instruction every day!  

Let me know how you manage your thoughts and feelings for the Observation System!  We can all use some great tips!  


Kidpeople Classroom said...

Your post cracked me up. So true for most of us! ugh. See you around. Kathleen

Chevron and Crayons said...

So true!! The waiting part is what gets to me!!!
Chevron and Crayons