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  • Jim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 12/22/14 - When do you observe?

When do you observe? Beginning of the lesson? Middle? End? Morning? Afternoon? First period? Last?


Many SAM teams pay close attention to the frequency of the principal’s interaction with each teacher. All teams track the amount of observation time. Some SAM teams make a point of varying the time of day and the part of a lesson the principal observes. This can give the principal a more accurate view and a greater ability to assist with improvement.


You can use your TimeTrack data to determine when to schedule. Still another approach, when the SAM schedules the time with the teacher, he/she can ask: “What time of day has the principal not seen you teach?” This kind of question can engage the teacher in a powerful way.


Kim Marshall, author of Rethinking Teacher Supervision and Evaluation, suggests that varying the time of the observation is an important issue of fairness, too.

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