Evidence-Based Learning at School

My experiences with class observations

My training was complete. I had also completed what I often experienced as excruciating commentary from seminar instructors. I felt one thing was clear: in the future, the door of my classroom would remain closed. I had no further interest in nagging, unrealistic claims. Besides, I knew now how to create good lessons. And I could handle pupils, I was sure of that.

Then I had a conversation with a friend and colleague about sitting in on peers’ classes (class observation — mutual encouragement and consultation). What I had only recently categorically rejected now seemed like an opportunity. After the conversation, I had the impression that I might be able to receive realistic and applicable suggestions for my lessons through collegial feedback. Getting advice from critical friends instead of feeling controlled or exposed. Exchange and self-reflection instead of closed classroom doors and complacency. Through critical, respectful reflections on my teaching and the resulting feedback from colleagues, the further development of my instruction became more analytic and professional. Structured debriefing sessions after observed lessons turned the feedback I received into personal gain.

The inspiration and suggestions I received and didactic exchange served to improve my instruction and, along with it, my satisfaction as a teacher. Organizational safeguards of collegial class observations provided by school administration have proven indispensable.

School administrators recognize these class observations as continuing education. When necessary, I am relieved of my teaching duties, and a substitute handles my classes.

Wilfried Krauß, Zweiter Konrektor ZwRSK