We have years of posts on the topic of being observed and a category for it as well. Many of us go through a lot of angst when it is our turn to be observed in our classrooms, where anything can happen and usually does. It never helps when the department chair from the last century has already warned the principal that we are hippies from the far left of language instruction.
My principal, doing a formal one hour observation of one of my sixth grade classes today, made me think about the observation/evaluation process again, in a new light. It is important to note that my principal appreciates and values comprehension hypothesis based instruction and is also a very positive and upbeat person in general.
I believe that the cheerfulness that my principal brought into the classroom made a difference in the class. She was just leaning forward and as much as any of the kids into Mickey and Donald at the movies with Goofy sitting behind Mickey asking him to take off his ears so he could see. (Goofy eventually stole the ears and ran across the room with a look of glee on his face) .
What did this quality of cheerfulness do to the observation process? It changed it. It made it better. So the next time that you get visited by a stone faced, judging administrator who neither appreciates CI nor enjoys a good story because they are so busy administering, remember to overcome that dour energy with an extra amount of cheerfulness on your part. Manufacture it if you have to. Fake it until you make it.
Don’t let those people from the last century get you down. Teach over the top of that darker energy. Those kinds of administrators are part of a rapidly crumbling model of leadership in schools anyway. And if you have a principal who brings good will into your classroom, count your blessings.