Written by Rachel Jameton
Informal peer observations offer an opportunity for you to reflect on your teaching practice in a supportive environment.
Informal peer observations have three parts:
Classrooms that are observed can be on campus, online, or in the community.
Peer observations by the TLC are unrelated to the promotion and tenure process but reflections can be part of portfolios. They are confidential, flexible, based on observation, and positive and growth-minded.
All discussion and observations are confidential and only used for the purpose of enhancing teaching by the observee.
Observations can only be requested by the observee and only the observee will receive feedback about the observation.
If requested, the CTL will provide a letter of confirmation that an observation has been done to the observee, but we will not provide written details of an observation.
In general, the CTLC follows the ethical guidelines for educational developers described here: http://podnetwork.org/about-us/pod-governance/ethical-guidelines/
You may be accustomed to a formal observation in which you are evaluated. Informal peer observation is a different process in which no judgement is made. Instead, the emphasis is on reflecting on an aspect of your teaching practice that you would like feedback on.
Your peer observer has the responsibility to respect your process and recognize that you are the expert in your classroom. We promise to honor your practice and personal growth as a teacher. You do not have to agree with all or anything your observer says.
As the observee, we ask that you do not ask for evaluation, but focus on answering a question about your teaching practice. Please listen to your observer’s feedback. We know that this can be uncomfortable. We also hope that the attention to your teaching is worth the short term discomfort.
Peer observers have background and practice in the process. If you would like to become a peer observer, please contact the CTL.
Sarah Graham Rachel Jameton
Jenni Light Gwen Sullivan