Along with student teaching, classroom observation is one of the most important parts of the process on the road to becoming a teacher. During this time, you get to watch a licensed teacher in action, learning more about what they do to keep the students engaged, as well as how they handle behavioral issues. However, just showing up and observing the teacher at work is not the best way to get the most out of this invaluable experience. When you go to fulfill your classroom observation requirements, use these tips so you can maximize the experience.
Take Advantage Of Downtimes
While it is definitely key for you to pay close attention to the instructional methods of the teacher that you happen to be observing, it’s also vital for you to put some of the theoretical knowledge that you’ve been amassing during your college matriculation to work.
Depending on the teacher that you happen to be observing, there will likely be certain times throughout the class period where students are left on their own to either complete classroom assignments, or get a head start on homework. These downtimes offer a perfect chance for you to work one-on-one with the pupils.
Taking advantage of downtimes is the perfect way to squeeze this in. When you arrive at the school in the morning, ask the teacher if it will be okay for you to walk around the classroom while the students complete their assignments in case anyone needs any help. This allows the regular teacher to get the next lesson ready, and gives you the opportunity to interact in real-time with the learners.
Don’t Be Afraid To Shadow
The goal of classroom observation is to absorb as much information as possible about the teaching profession before you start your career. Understand that the learning doesn’t have to stop in the classroom; there are some valuable insights you can gain simply by being willing to shadow the teacher you are observing.
Instead of running off to your vehicle or a nearby eatery for your breaks or lunches, take time to talk to the teacher so you can learn those insights that you can’t really get from a book.
For instance, you may find that the teacher you shadow spends their lunch breaks each day running tests through Scantron machines. Or, you may learn that there is an extracurricular requirement for all teachers that makes it virtually impossible to leave school until late hours on certain days of the week. This is invaluable information that can fortify your decision to become a teacher.
Getting the most out of your classroom observation experience doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what to do. Let this information be a guide that helps you have a truly fulfilling, satisfactory time of learning.