Tony Gurr

What exactly is BEST PRACTICE in Classroom Observation?

In Classroom Teaching, ELT and ELL, Teacher Training on 23/06/2012 at 12:25 pm

…our topic for today (boyz n’ girlz) is…

…but this is the Madonna-free, PG-rated version – the version that will ensure I steer well-clear from any complaints from some obscure “internet trading and advertising organisation” (or worse – more “hate mail”)!

A few weeks ago those lovely chaps at ELTchat (check them out on twitter, too – #eltchat – there are some really great discussions) – had a virtual chin-wag on allthingsobservation.

As I had been banging about classroom observation (the recent series on “Misfires” and “Advice for Observers”), I just had to sign upProblem was…I found meself on a high-speed train (from Eskişehir) at exactly the same time. As good as the wonders of a 3G iPad might be, tweet I could not!

A couple of tweets did manage to get through:

Now, you can imagine how I was feeling – someone who loves to “talk” as much as I does, someone who has so much to “say” about classroom observation (and how we seem to screw it up – again, and again, and again)! I felt a bit like a kid who had been grounded and sent up to his room during his favourite TV show…but could hear snippets of the show’s dialogue upstairs in his room (this actually happened to me quite a lot when I was a kid – missed so many episodes of the “Six Million Dollar Man” you just would not believe it)…

Marisa Constantinides (aka @Marisa_C) to the rescue!

Marisa and I had chatted before the session and I’d said “I’ll be there”!

Famous last words…

She knew how upset I was that I missed the twitter shin-dig and asked if I’d like to “get my voice back” by doing a podcast with her ELTchat partner-in-crimeJames Taylor (aka @theteacherjames).

Yeah, it was like mum n’ dad had forgiven me…and let me downstairs to see Steve Austin (and, from time-to-time, Jaime Sommers…and Maximillion – the bionic dog, too) “save” the day (in actual fact, this hardly ever happened when I was a kid…my mum and dad never backed down)!

Me and @theteacherjames had to overcome a few challenges – schedulesunplanned “flying visits”…and bloody Skype (even when you have to sell a kidney every month to get the type of internet connection that, so they tell you, would even make God herself jealous)!

…@theteacherjames was a wonderful “first” for me! He was kind and considerate –  getting me all comfortable by chatting about football and the woes of actually setting up and editing podcasts. I couldn’t have asked for a better “podcast Jedi master”

Pretty soon we were on fire…he used a lot of the questions raised during the #eltchat twitter session (you can find the full transcript of the discussion – HERE).

I found that I relaxed pretty quickly and we ended up chatting for over an hour.

I’m guessing you’ll have to make up your own minds as to whether what we said to eachother makes sense or not (CLICK HERE – to listen to the edited version  the podcast) – James tells me that he’ll get up the full unedited version up (the ‘R’ rated version) very soon so watch his spot (and maybe play around with PodOmatic itself!

I think MarisaJames and all the other #eltchatterers would love to hear what you think (go on, add a comment or three to this post)!

In the original discussion, a lot of the participants shared a wide range of resources on classroom observation:

OK – I cheated (just a tweeny-weeny bit)! These last two were not mentioned in the original chat – but they should’ve been…and would’ve been if I hadn’t been on a stupid “hızlı tren”

These are also some of the musings I have thrown up on allthingslearning over the past couple of months – the weekend is coming up and you might fancy a bit of “bedtime reading” this weekend:

Oh, yes…and there was the “mega-series” (that went on almost as long as Dallas or Friends):

…there was MORE:

Now, looking back at all of this stuff – not so sure, am I – that it represents “Best Practice” in Classroom Observation…(this is why my second title works so much better)…

But, hey…if it gives you a couple of ideas for “Next Practice” in your context – maybe that’s not too shabby!

MarisaJames (and Mike)…

  1. Loved the write up – happy to have come to the ‘rescue’ 🙂

    Call my emergency services any time!


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