12 #ObserveMe Tips for Getting Feedback from Your Colleagues
by Teacher2Teacher Team | 02.5.18
How do I ask my colleagues to give me feedback on my teaching? How can I set up my classroom to welcome observers? What do I do if no one comes to observe my lessons? If you’re thinking about jumping into the #ObserveMe movement – putting that #ObserveMe sign on your door and inviting colleagues inside to watch and share feedback – you may have asked yourself the above questions already.
Inviting observers into your classroom can be intimidating. But the #ObserveMe movement began because despite the challenges, embracing fresh perspectives and constructive feedback has helped teachers across the country grow their practice.
These educators have great tips for getting started and setting yourself up for #ObserveMe success:
Educators Windy Hodge and William Wietman created signs with QR codes to make it simple for busy colleagues to give them quick feedback:
— Windy Hodge (@Windy_Hodge) October 17, 2017
Here is what is on my door. I have a Google spreadsheet as well. I had more fb last year than I have this year. I need to be more intentional about this as the year continues. pic.twitter.com/xCZuC8aFRJ
— William Wietman (@WWietman) October 17, 2017
Check out how educators LaVondia Menephee and Tamica Lewis communicate with their students about observers:
Leave an empty chair in the back of the room for observers, and let Ss know from Day 1 that it’s for ppl who are observing you, not them.
— LaVondia Menephee (@LaMenephee) August 12, 2017
Tell Ss that observers are there to see how brilliant they are because you’ve been spreading good news about them. They’ll want to prove it.
— Tamica Lewis (@tamicalewis) August 12, 2017
English teacher Michele Granger encourages fellow teachers not to limit their #ObserveMe circle to one subject area:
— Michele Granger (@Mrs_M_Granger) January 29, 2018
Educator Tasha Young has great advice for building a feedback form for your observers:
Be sure the questions you use for feedback are specific so that your observers have a guide what you’re actually looking for.
— Tasha Young (@TFY77) August 22, 2017
Once your #ObserveMe sign goes up, how can you encourage your colleagues to sit in on classes and give feedback? These educators offer some great suggestions:
Librarian Jodi Malick thinks reaching out to your personal learning community can make all the difference:
Do you have PLC’s in your school? Send individual emails or face to face contact that you would like feedback. I got our admin in on it also
— Ms. Malick (@heyyojo4) November 3, 2017
Teacher Danielle Ganley points to one simple but impactful action that encourages observers:
Here’s a small & important tip. Try to leave your door open as much as possible. It really encourages people to feel comfortable coming in! pic.twitter.com/qOee1nRn4b
— Danielle Ganley (@MrsGanley) August 24, 2017
Teacher Michael Tetzloff explains that introducing #ObserveMe into your school community can take time, but you shouldn’t give up:
#observeme. Put flyer in mailboxes week 1. Nothing. Put it in mailboxes again week 7. 4 takers. Keep it up. It takes time to create change.
— Michael Tetzloff (@tetzloffski) September 24, 2016
One of the keys to building a culture of collaboration in your school is creating a two-way street for feedback. How can you be a thoughtful observer of your colleagues? These educators have some advice:
Here’s teacher Lisabeth Leist’s tip for making sure your feedback is constructive:
Start by providing a positive THEN ask what the teacher thought of the situation (that’s inspiring the constructive criticism). This allows you to gain insight into the Ts thought process and can guide you in what ways they might be open to feedback. #observeMe #hcpsteach
— Mrs. Leist (@lleist77) December 9, 2017
Asking questions is educator Teresa Palma’s first step to being a great observer:
Begin by asking questions: What went well? How do you know if students gained understanding? What would you change/improve/ what were strengths? Questions create ownership & opportunity vs feelings of inadequacy. and Model expected behaviors, highlight strategies #ObserveMe
— TERESA PALMA (@PalmaTeresa13) December 9, 2017
Educator John Hayward’s advice for observing your colleagues? Keep it simple!
No notes or device in hand, just eyes.
Be approachable, curious, present.
Get to know what’s happening at students’ level.
— John Hayward (@Jhaywardtwit) October 12, 2017
If you’d like to learn more about the #ObserveMe movement, you can click here to visit founder Robert Kaplinsky’s website for information, tips and advice! And if you have advice to add, share your suggestions and tips in the comments below!