I started the 2017 school year by conducting classroom observations for a few teachers who attended one of our teacher trainings last year. The ultimate goal of observing these teachers is to see how they have been able to apply the knowledge and skills gained from our trainings in their classroom work.
Prior to the observation, we communicated with ward education officers (WEOs) to discuss the objectives, share concerns with teachers, and set up the classroom observation dates. I observed an entire class period (40 minutes long) for each teacher.
After the classroom observations, we had the opportunity to hold individual meetings with each teacher to share feedback. The teachers were also given the chance to explain his or her own performance, which part of the session they thought went well, and any general comments about the lesson. The exercise was great for professional development, as the feedback we shared helped the teachers better understand how to improve parts of their teaching work and why to do so.
Performing these classroom observations was a rewarding experience for me. I enjoyed watching the teachers at work, they showed enthusiasm and demonstrated a positive attitude towards teaching and learning. The classes I observed were full of energy and movement. Participatory learning methodologies and planning for effective instruction was one of the training programs that we hosted in 2016. Through our classroom observations, we witnessed how these teachers have been able to put this into action, effectively planning lessons and use varied participatory approaches in the classroom. We also observed learning organization and classroom management, mastery of the subject matter, teaching style, instruction techniques used, and teachers’ encouragement to engage in critical thinking among the learners.
As we conduct classroom observations, we also gain insight that helps us to better design and develop our training programs in response to the identified needs.