April 17, 2009

Excuse me, May I come in?

As our first task for this course in methodology, the teacher asked us to reflect upon important things we should mention to a teacher whose lesson we are about to observe, so I took some minutes and this is what I came out with:

• If it’s the first time I meet the teacher I will definitely need to introduce myself, telling her my name and the teacher training college I study at.
• It will be very important also to clarify dates for visiting the class and timetables so as to avoid future conflicts.
• It will be nice to tell the teacher that we are there to observe how the students work for the teacher to be at ease and her work not to be influenced by my presence.
• Something that is really important is to ask all questions before the class starts:
- What book they use so as to be placed in the picture of the lesson
- Where should I sit down in the classroom in order not to influence classroom atmosphere
- Whether she wants to introduce me to the students or not, since some teachers prefer observers to take an active role and some others prefer a passive one
• Finally, I’ll give the teacher the change to tell me/explain me anything she might consider interesting in her classroom (some teachers love to tell you about individual cases or group behavior). This generates a better atmosphere between the teacher and the observer and the class gets less influenced.

It is important to have a humble attitude, we are there to learn different ways to go about a classroom and the teacher we are observing has experience on that. So, I’ll kindly invite you to go on reading how the experience goes about in future posts. =)


  1. Yohi!
    I really liked what you said about the class getting less influenced. It's crucial for us to be able to talk to the teacher beforehand so that she can introduce us to the students. It's really important for the students to learn about our presence so as not to feel so "invaded" when we enter the classroom.
    We do need a humble attitude! I do agree on that.
    And I'll be gladly reading your future posts so as to see how everything is going (:

  2. I guess there's no way we can make ourselves "invisible" when sitting in on a lesson. Even when we observe video-taped lessons, we need to assume students must have been aware of the camera eye, and that has to have influenced their interaction (hopefully, for the better, though it's not rare to see the opposite!). What we can determine is what kind of observer they'll see in us.

    Frequently, students asks teacher trainees what they're taking down, why they've come to see their teacher or prefer directly asking you about their doubts on what the teacher is explaining... Have you already decided how you'd like to face such challenges?

    Enjoy observing lessons!

  3. Hi people!!! Sorry for the delay... The most important thing is the teacher's attitude, if she wants the students to know who we are and what are we doing there, she will take a minute and even ask the students to ask us directly, in which case I will reply. However, the teacher may prefer us not to talk to her students in which case I would say may name and stay as quiet as possible.

    Hope this clarify your doubt Gladys...

    Thanks for your comments...