Hey everyone! With reference to my previous post on Keeping a learning diary, I decided today to write about my experience on doing classroom observations as a part of my course. For those of you who are wondering what I mean by “Classroom Observation” I’m sure you are familiar with it once I explain it to you. Have you ever walked in your regular class whether at university or at school and noticed a new person already sitting at the back of the classroom holding a notepad and a pen and smiling weirdly at you as you take your seat? Well, that’s basically it 😛
As a part of my compulsory module “Reflections on Language Teaching and Learning”, we’ve been scheduled to do two observations in groups of three. I was on the only group that had both of the observations on the same day and let me tell you something, that day I went to sleep from 9pm. Our tutor had prepared us well enough before going to each observation and also gave us plenty of advice. Mainly, he said that we should be polite towards the teacher and sit quietly at the back of the class and observe the lesson. If the teacher wants to refer to the new ‘visitors’ sitting at the back of their classroom during their teaching they can do it, but we weren’t allowed to introduce ourselves or talk with the students.
Before each observation, we were given 12 different tasks that we had to choose from. Those tasks would be our main focus during the observations. I chose the Lesson Phases and Transitions task which basically deals with what the teacher does when they change from one activity to the other and for my second observation I chose Teacher’s Questions where I had to write down 20 questions that the teacher asked during the lesson.
Thankfully, both my observations went well and the teachers that I observed were kind enough to talk to us before the lesson and also provide us with the handouts that the students worked on in the class. For me, it was both a memorable experience but also an opportunity to find out what it feels like to be that “new” person that sits quietly at the back corner of the class and observes the lesson.