Introducing Virtual #ObserveMe!


Robert Kaplinsky

by | 09.9.20

Robert Kaplinsky has been an educator since 2003 as a classroom teacher, teacher specialist for Downey Unified School District, instructor for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and presenter at conferences around the world. He is the creator of the #ObserveMe movement. Follow him on Twitter @robertkaplinsky.

I launched #ObserveMe a few years ago because I grew most as a teacher when I observed other educators or when they observed me. I wanted others to have that same opportunity.

Now, more than ever, teaching remotely can make us feel like we’re on our own island. The idea of “observation” is often tied up with “evaluation,” but that’s not what #ObserveMe is about. #ObserveMe is about mutual observation and acknowledging that we each bring experience and perspective that can help others grow.

Here’s how it works: We set very specific feedback goals, then we invite colleagues to (now virtually) drop in, observe us and give us information to help us progress toward those goals.

We all know we’re better after we’ve taught a lesson a few times, because we’ve got more perspective and can make informed choices. Well #ObserveMe is kind of like a supercharged version of that, because now we’ve got additional sets of eyes and ears.

Whether we’re in person in each other’s classrooms or remotely in each other’s Zoom rooms, joining #ObserveMe can start with sharing a sign that looks something like these:

Now that so many teachers are working in remote learning environments, adapting our practice in ways we’ve never had to before, it’s more important than ever to make the effort to learn from each other and grow together – and #ObserveMe has to look a little different.

That’s why I’m partnering with Teacher2Teacher to encourage you to participate in virtual #ObserveMe with the teachers in your school community.

You can get a template here to make your own #ObserveMe sign to share with your colleagues on social media, over email, or in your video meetings – or you can design your own sign, using this template as inspiration! 

GET THE TEMPLATE

Consider these ways to invite your fellow teachers to help you grow:

  • Invite a colleague to join you in an online meeting with your students. You might let your students know that, just as you work with them to support their learning, your colleagues are supporting your learning. Students admire when teachers care this much about helping them learn.
  • Record part of your lesson; and invite a colleague to watch it to give you feedback on specific goals, telling them when in the video they take place.

I hope you’ll share your #ObserveMe goals on social media using the #ObserveMe hashtag – this is one important way we can reach out to each other and support each other through this time and beyond.


More community favorites

More