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observation by SMT - zero notice given - where do I stand?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by sciencedude1980, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. sciencedude1980

    sciencedude1980 New commenter

    I was observed recently for a portion of a lesson by a member of SMT. I was given no notice of any observation, nor were any observations or learning walks (or any other obs by another name) calendered. They arrived at the start of said lesson, entered my room and asked if they could sit in for a while. Obviously I was not about to say no and send them packing! They left after about 20min and i continued the lesson.
    I later discovered that an observation sheet had been filled in for the portion of the lesson that was observed, although I only discovered this as I actively requested feedback as none at all had been offered.
    I didn't think much of it at the time but the more I think about it, the more wrong it seems.
    Not only the way it was carried out but also the fact that there is written evidence being kept from this impromptu observation.
    I feel as though someone was trying to catch me off guard an that this was certainly far from a supportive use of the observation process.
    What are your thoughts?

  2. sciencedude1980

    sciencedude1980 New commenter

    Just in addition to my OP as on reading it back it seems a little biased, I feel I should add that the feedback that I did receive was positive and constructive.
    This however does not change the main point of the OP.
  3. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Your Leadership Team is well wihin its rights to operate a process of unscheduled visits. It would, though, normally be good practice to make staff aware that such a process was going to be implemented.
    Significantly, it should be for monitoring purposes across the school, not for your individual performance management process.
  4. Where in the STPCD document does it say that teachers are to agree to countless lesson observations? The document requires you to undertake performance management. Either the observation was performance management or it wasn't. If it was performance management it was done incorrectly - no meeting had taken place to agree the focus of the observation. This is typical of a management team that is unaware (or incapable of understanding) the developmental purpose of lesson observation.

    Speak to your union.
  5. coppull

    coppull New commenter

    Just a suggestion.When you have a non-contact lesson,wander into the class where the member of SMT is teaching(We assume they have their lessons observed). Politely ask can you watch good teaching taking place.[​IMG]
    Leave class after twenty minutes and send them some comments about their lesson.[​IMG]
  6. Equally, where does it say that there is a limit to observations? It doesn't and there aren't.
    The usual limit for PM is 3 hours, although that is waived if the teacher's performance gives cause for concern. Quite rightly, good practice suggests that observations should be multi faceted as much as possible.
    However, there is nothing anywhere that impedes a school's right to manage. This should involve lessons obs as well as a range of other methods. Neither is there anything to say that obs must be notified.
    From the management POV there is much to be said for undertaking no notice observations.
    IMO too many teachers seem to have a Little Englander view that their classroom is sacrosanct and management are to book appointments to visit!
  7. I can see what tc means. It's all about context isn't it?
  8. That is a good idea. Just pop in and ask to speak to someone you teacher. You will be amazed how awful their,' those that judge', lessons are. They will be telling all and sundry, 'get pupils to take their coats off', but in their classes you pupils sit with coats and are texting under the table.
    Doesn't half make observation feedback interesting.

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