Observation Guidelines

Critical practices for effective observations:


1.     Beginning teachers need to have the opportunity to be observed by “safe” individuals who are not responsible for supervision or evaluation.

2.     Beginning teachers need the opportunity to observe experienced teachers who have particular expertise in pedagogy.

3.     Observations must be followed by debriefing sessions during which new teachers can talk about what was observed and how they might change their own practice.

4.     All observations, meetings, discussions, etc… must be kept confidential between the mentor and the intern teacher. Failure to keep confidentiality will destroy the collegial relationship between the team.

5.     First observation should take place before the teacher is evaluated for the first time by his/her building administrator. Second observation should take place during the second nine weeks or beginning of third nine weeks before the second administrator evaluation takes place.




Mentors Observation Guidelines:


·        Mentors will complete at least two classroom observations of beginning teachers.

·        Mentors must follow the observation model described below. It’s important that mentors remember they are colleagues. The model for observations is collegial supervision without evaluation.


Required Observation model:

1.       Pre-conference - must be scheduled to establish the focus for the observation.

2.       Observation  - minimum of one hour or class period for secondary teachers. Use HMS Mentor Program Observation Forms.

3.       Post-conference – must follow the observation to help the new teacher reflect upon his/her teaching strategies and make any necessary changes to improve the quality of instruction and learning for students. Be positive and supportive; ask reflective questions, i.e. “When do you decide to refocus student attention?”

4.       Remember that this as well as all conversations are confidential.


Beginning Teacher Observation Guidelines:


·        Beginning teachers will complete at least two ½ day classroom observations of experienced Level II or Level III teachers. Observations that cannot be scheduled with Level II or Level III teachers must be approved by the Mentor Coordinator.

·        The experienced teachers may be the mentor or other quality teachers.

·        Beginning teachers may go to other school sites to observe teachers.

·        The mentor should assist the beginning teacher in completing these observations by suggesting teachers to observe and helping them schedule these opportunities.

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