My previous post was built around three specific points:
1- Mixed feelings that are not exclusive mine as Kevin Stein shared in his introduction to my previous post on Facebook and Michael Stout comment to my post over Facebook. As I haven’t read Kevin Stein, Josette Leblanc and Ann Loseva (not entirely at least) yet, but I’m sure there will be much more to think about and different perspectives. In the previous post and now, I’m just offering one side of the issue. People do tend to have mixed feeling due to the nature of how observations are seen and carried out.
2- Mike Griffin earlier this year raises a nice point about why one should or should not care about someone’s else classroom. One of my favorite posts actually. A post that has been in the back of my mind ever since I read it, and was somehow present while I was writing my previous post. I highly recommend reading in case you wonder why I had been thinking of it.
3- As far as my own PD goes, I don’t see the point of having someone observing my class if it is only about quality control based ONLY on a person’s point of view that is fully at work before, during and after the feedback session, even if it is my own without any effort to dialogue honestly, without being judgmental and with the learners in the center of the conversation.
When I read/heard for the first time John F. Fanselow talk about exploring our classroom in a playful manner, I could not get it. And as I see it many of us don’t get it either but continue to neglect the importance of having knowledge but not fixed rules, to experiment and reflect on learning rather than just teach and expect results without ever questioning and considering the context. Something that not only teachers need to learn to do but also the learners themselves.
While exploring John F. Fanselow’s blog I found a chapter of a book I have not read yet, but I’m sure it won’t be any different from the other three books I have from John. The consistence in his writings and talks is mind blowing and again and again he helps us see the light of how to change one-side dimensional judgment through recording, transcribing and analysing a portion of our class. I should blog soon about the two courses I have taken with John and an amazing group of teachers through iTDi which the first one was exactly about a year ago. Now it all comes to place!
Now, taking into consideration the points above, I would like to state that my problem is not with observation as much as it is with how feedback if ever gets carried out afterwards is actually done. In a way that it not only overpowers teachers need for development and becoming critical about their own actions and how it impacts their Ss, but also implies that there is only one way of teaching and that is fixed business. Moreover,I just don’t see the point of praising it if it is just to keep the system rolling. Nope, that kind of observation I will go through and accept as part of the job, but I know at the end it will be just that.