Teachers around the world are joining a rapidly growing movement: observing each other to provide constructive feedback.
Traditionally, teaching is an isolating profession. Each morning, the bell rings and teachers march off to tackle the challenge of educating their students by themselves. Finding the time to collaborate with colleagues is a real challenge, despite all the evidence that collaboration and feedback are essential for professional development to be effective. Mathematics teacher specialist Robert Kaplinsky recently blogged about this struggle:
“A teacher who doesn’t collaborate works on an isolated island. When this lack of collaboration permeates an entire school, teachers more closely resemble independent contractors than colleagues. I’m growing increasingly concerned that this is becoming more, and not less, common.”
But a steady stream of Tweets is signalling a sea-change. Using the hashtag #ObserveMe, teachers around the country are inviting their colleagues to watch their lessons and to provide them with constructive feedback.
To date, this hashtag has reached nearly 400,000 Twitter users. Participants simply post a sign on their door that says, “Welcome! Please come inside and observe me. I’ve love feedback on...” and then they write in the focus of their observation. They’re loving it and having amazing success.
Here are a few #ObserveMe tweets from these teachers:
— nate bowling (@nate_bowling) October 20, 2016
— Sean Scanlon (@polonerd) October 19, 2016
#ObserveMe made easier with video
We want to support the #ObserveMe initiative and help keep the momentum going. To that end, IRIS Connect is offering educators free access to our platform for 60 days - no strings attached.
By using our free app to capture video of their lessons, they can even collaborate with teachers beyond their building - anywhere in the world. They just record their video and share it securely over the platform where they can get time-stamped notes and feedback.
To get started, sign up for a free account here. When prompted, use the access code ObserveMe.
If you know an educator that might be interested, please share this post with them using the button below. Best of luck!
Have you tried peer observation? What did you think of it? Let us know your experiences in the comments section