When I think about being observed, my stomach starts to cramp, my mouth can’t quite form the words that need to come out, and my hands start to shake. Just knowing that someone is “watching me” makes me squeamish. For the past two days I have had the opportunity to be on the other end of the “watching” process and observe at a local high school as a part of a GAPSS team (Georgia Assessment of Performance on State Standards).
Going into the process, I worried that because I work with younger students my evaluation might not match with the standards for high school students. I also knew that I would probably cause some teachers to feel the way that I do about observations– pretty miserable.
Being a GAPSS team member has helped to push back many of my fears about the observation and evaluation process as it relates to standards based instruction. Through this process I have realized that it doesn’t matter what level of students you work with or what subject matter you teach. Standards based instruction should have the same components– a good opening, introduction to the standards, flexible grouping, and a summary as a conclusion (there are others, but this is a pretty good start). The observation process by a GAPSS team also is not out to criticize any particular teacher, but to improve a school as a whole unit.
Knowing these components will help me to better prepare my lessons for students and will help to ease some of my fears when I am being observed. Next time I will focus on how well the students understand the content that I am teaching and engaging them more into the standards-based activity that I have planned.