My very first teacher observation was during my first semester of student teaching in a resource room for kids with learning disabilities.
I remember it well because it was traumatic.
I hadn't previously met the man who came to do my observation; he was part of the college faculty in the education department, but not my instructor.
Anyhow, I had a great lesson planned. I was going to teach a small group (just two first graders) about telling time to the hour. FIRST MISTAKE. Don't ever teach time or money while being observed. Just trust me.
As the man observed, my lesson spiraled downhill in a sort of out-of-control, catastrophic disaster of epic proportions. At least, that's what it felt like at the time. The kids totally didn't get it, and I wasn't on top of their impulsive and distractable behaviors.
When he pulled me into the library so he could talk about my lesson, I knew that it hadn't gone well and as soon as he started talking, I burst into tears.
And soon my tears in front of this stranger turned into little sobs. Then bigger sobs. Then I was so embarrassed that I wanted to die!
He sat in stone-like silence during my whole meltdown. When it seemed like I was maybe starting to breathe normally again, he asked very stoically: "Are you finished?"
His complete lack of compassion was so shocking. I sat there, mute, as he calmly went over my lesson. When he was done, I didn't know if I would ever teach again.
I'm happy to report that I did teach again... And teacher observations no longer scare me (I don't know how I could do worse than that first one).
What's your worst teacher observation horror story?
Getting Everything Squared Away
1 day ago