We have two new vice-principals this year and one of their duties is to conduct our classroom observations. If you aren't a teacher, this means that the principal comes into your room and observes you teaching for a period and then writes up a report that basically gives you a grade of "proficient," or "not proficient."
I was a little nervous about this year's observation since the principal is new and pretty specific about expectations (I call her "the hammer" and the other principal "the marshmallow") and was a social studies teacher when she was in the classroom. Before the observation, you have to write up a lesson plan and have a conference with her to tell her what is going to be happening in your classroom and so on. I am not so great at writing lesson plans. I know it is good for me and good for the kids, and I have actually gotten pretty good at writing unit plans, but I am still not great at lesson plans. It seems like a waste of time to me, having to write out every step of what I will be doing and what state standards it aligns to. I know that it technically does make sense to do so, but I struggle with it.
But...I managed, had my pre-conference and went away, under the impression that my observation would be on the Friday before Thanksgiving - on the day that the kids would be doing a study guide for the HUGE unit test.
But really, how fun would teaching be without the surprises? Wednesdays and Thursdays are block days, meaning the class periods are 100 minutes long. My 6th period is.....a little squirrelly, although NOTHING compared to any of my classes last year. So naturally, my principal walks in for that class. It turns out the mix-up was my fault, and since I refuse to change my lesson plan for observations, she sat and observed me, despite the fact that she was not feeling well at all.
Things went pretty well, I thought, the kids were actively doing a mini-review activity about the Mongols and the Black Plague. In the end, I was very glad she came that day and not Friday, since Friday did not work out well at all (STUPID PRINT SHOP!!!!).
I went in today for my post-observation, and she really had some nice things to say about me, which made me feel a little better than I have been for the last couple of days. She said I understood sophomores and their maturity level really well and challenged them while still allowing them to succeed.
All in all, things went well, which makes me happy. =)