Teacher Observation Techniques

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Teacher Observation Techniques

In the teaching profession, instructors apply various observation techniques to evaluate and assess the academic progress of learners. These techniques also help the teacher monitor the behavior of learners in and out of class. They do this because it should be a continuous process that enables the teacher and the learners to interact positively with each other. This is very important as far as the learning process is concerned.

In this paper, an instructor who monitors and evaluates learning in class will utilize three different teacher observation techniques. An analysis of the techniques used will help evaluate the effectiveness of the teacher, as well as the usefulness of each of the three techniques. Various teacher observations are not very effective, while others are. The application of each of these teacher observation techniques depends on the class environment.

The first class environment is a woodworking class where we have a blank seating chart. The teacher applies the Facilitated Group Discussions (FDGs) observation technique where learners are organized in groups. This way, the teacher is able to assess and monitor the learners participation in the group by moving in the classroom. There are thirty-five students in the woodworking class organized in seven groups.

The learners are organized in groups of five. The first group includes Cameron, Kevin, Peter, and other two learners. The second group is Willie, Andrew, Noah, Josh, and a fifth student. The third group is Peter, Chris, Bob, Joel, and another student. The fourth has Josh, Willie, Andrew, Noah, and another new student. The fifth group includes Chris, Peter, Bob, Joel, and another Chris. The sixth has Peter, Sam, Kris, Sarah, and another student, while Decca, David, Alan, and two other students are among the five members in group seven.

Cabinets, clamps, lumber-room, two band saws, belt sander, table saw, clamps, a planner, and two drill presses are located at the back of the class. There are also three lathes in the class. These are very essential tools in a woodworking class. The movement of the teacher is random and ensures that the groups are visited. The teacher observes all the students in class through the FDGs. A question is posed to one group. This way, the teacher is able to instantaneously address issues arising from the groups. The FDGs, therefore, provide the teacher with an opportune time to address each group at a time and consequently point out any students weaknesses. The teacher is also able to monitor participation among students in these groups.

While the teacher utilizes the FDGs to assess and monitor the learners, this teacher observation technique is detrimental to the extent that while most learners are at ease expressing themselves among their peers, few of them are generally quiet and may not get an opportunity to contribute to the group. This reduces the efficiency of the teacher who applies this technique. Some of the group members are more talkative than others and, therefore, may not get an opportunity to make their desired contributions. This affects the usefulness of this teacher observation technique.

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The second teacher observation technique is used for third grade learners. The teacher calls upon one learner at a time. The teacher asks questions and the learners make their responses. The teacher at the front is able to observe all the learners. The students and the teacher interact easily since the organization of the class is good. The learners sit in rows. This teacher observation technique is more interactive. The teacher is able to assess and monitor the responses made by the learners. Since the learners are very young in age, they will be able to answer the questions posed by the instructor without fear. Their gaps in knowledge are thus very essential since they will help the teacher make an accurate prediction of their level of knowledge. The teacher can consequently apply tailor-made techniques to individually meet the needs of specific learners with difficulties.

However, learners have diverse psychological dispositions, which may inhibit free contribution in class depending on their social-cultural backgrounds. Random questions may also deny the learners an opportunity to prepare to answer the teachers questions. This method may prove ineffective if the teacher fails to consider the reactions by the learners. Some learners such as Michelle, Elizabeth, Braise, and Brian are strategically located in class. Therefore, some learners may be disadvantaged. Moreover, the teacher is also prone to prejudices in picking out learners. Thus, coupled with time constraints, some learners may not get an opportunity to answer questions, and this reduces the usefulness of this technique.

The last teacher observation technique is used in a History class. Both the teacher and the students express their feelings. The lecturer consequently praises and encourages the learners in the course of the lecture. The lecturer is able to give directions. However, criticism and antagonism arise as a result. Dunya, Eric, Christine, and Scott are at the front of the class. Christine is seated upfront together with Cathy, Jan, and Wayne. Shannon, Margaret, John, and Brent are seated in the second row. A question is posed and the students who with the help of the other learners are able to make better contributions give responses. However, this method denies other students a chance to contribute. Moreover, time constraints may not allow all of them to contribute.

In conclusion, it is up to the teacher to pick the most appropriate observation technique that best suits their learners. This will help teachers assess and monitor progress of learners. This way, they are able to positively improve their academic performance, as well as other aspects in life.

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