This year, I decided that I would try to simplify my life and use Google Docs for my classroom observations, opposed to hand writing all of them. Part of my job is to observe the school counselors at the 85 schools in my division. I offer feedback as it relates to instruction, assessment and management of students during the school counseling classroom lessons.
Here is what I look for:
Instruction - Are you prepared? Lesson plan? Opening? Closing? Is it relevant? Easy to follow? Applicable to the grade level or what you deem as the topic?
Assessment - How do you know if the students understood what you just taught? Are you checking for understanding? What formative assessment are you using?
Management - Are the students on task? Engaged? Can you re-direct? Are you calling on all students? Remember, just because students are compliant doesn't mean that they are learning...or that your lesson is effective.
Classroom lessons should be thought out, planned and support your program and school's initiatives. No RANDOM ACTS OF GUIDANCE....as Pat Martin (NOSCA) would say! That means don't continue lessons because you like them, or because you are comfortable with them and have been doing them for years.
True Story: There once was a school counselor who worked for my division. Every lesson consisted of them bringing a keyboard into the classroom, playing a song and having the students sing along. SAY WHAT?! I have no idea what their program was about, how the lessons were relevant. They never provided me with any documentation...no lesson plans, no annual calendar, no data reports...NADA! One day the principal wanted to know what they could do to increase scores in their building. I stated, "by not letting your school counselor play the keyboard for his lessons." CRICKETS!!!! The principal quickly redirected the conversation. Luckily, that school counselor retired and they have a much more contemporary one in their place.
Continue to be Extraordinary, People! Don't be the keyboard pushing, song singing, no lesson plan having school counselor! YUCK!