Observation Jitters

It’s quiet in my house with just the dishwasher keeping me company as it helps me get ready for tomorrow.  I feel I can use all the help I can get at this point.  All day long I’ve had pre-observation jitters.  For days I have been carefully contemplating what I will teach and polishing it up.  There are no  dress rehearsals; only the ones in my mind that keep playing over and over.  I have read that it is helpful to visualize success before a performance, but I need a rest.  My friend, who also has her formal observation this week, and I wonder why if we have been doing this teaching for so many years does this seem so intimidating?  We should be able to pluck a successful idea out of our heads, tie it to the Common Core Standard we need and think of I Can statements while we are walking in from the car, whip up wonderful student engagement pieces while we are taking off our coats, and run over all of our formative assessment and exit ticket ideas while we are multitasking; greeting colleagues and checking e-mail.  And we probably can!  But teaching is an art which means that what we have done in the past will always be tweaked, adjusted and polished for this particular group of learners we have in front of us.  It will always have room for improvement, but when I am being observed, I want perfection.  It is like trying to walk through the inside of a pinball machine carrying a cup of coffee and avoiding the little ball ricocheting around without spilling a drop.  A nice thought, but unlikely in the real world to happen.

But I love my job.  Tomorrow I will be excited and happy to see my kids.  It will be “Lights, camera, action!” as it is every day.  And it will be perfect, whatever the outcome.

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Author: jet197

A Spanish speaking elementary resource teacher, single mom with two grown kids and a pasión for the outdoors and books. I am a big curious question mark always pondering with a penchant for poetry.

21 thoughts on “Observation Jitters”

  1. I always get those jitters, that’s why I love the unannounced observations. Or my administrator will say, let me know when you’re doing something “cool”. I’ll try to drop in to see it.” Sounds like you have nothing to worry about it… now.. just breath.

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  2. Those jitters never leave you because you want to do your best. I too have always considered teaching to be an art as well as a calling. I am quite sure your observation went well but as you said there are always things we could have done better. Room to grow.

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  3. We get those jitters because we care so much! As much as observations make me nervous, I love the time I take in thoughtfully planning out every step, every decision, every little piece … it takes a lot of time, but the benefits are amazing! That planning helps me in future planning. Enjoy showing off what you can do well with your students and enjoy the feedback to improve.

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    1. Yes, as I was reading your comment I was just thinking that same thing that it does indeed help us to be better at our art. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    1. Probably not, but as someone else said in a comment it is because we care so much that it is so. I also think that it is because we worrying that it would be annoying to spend so much time crafting the perfect lesson and to make a mistake or forget some of our plan!

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  4. I still get nervous after 30 years. It is a great feeling though when it is all over, and I feel like I did a good job. We are always the hardest on ourselves! I loved your line about being in the pinball machine. I felt myself dodging those silver balls!

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  5. I literally see you (and me) running through the innards of a pinball machine with those coffee cups! Too funny! Great visual- it’ll surely have me stifling a laugh through my observation.

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  6. You open with, “It’s quiet in my house with just the dishwasher keeping me company.” I’m at the end of my day, in the middle of my weekend, and the dishwasher just finished. I hadn’t realized it was keeping me company until the quiet. The detail of your writing pulled me right in.

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  7. I’m sure you were wonderful.

    I hate that teachers feel this pressure on observation days. I wish there was another way to showcase your fabulous-ness without this formalized procedure. Surely there has to be a better way….

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    1. My friend and I were talking about how it gives us a chance to see how far we have come and to think about areas where we still need to grow. So, as difficult as thy are, there are celebrations to come out of them. The biggest celebration, of course, being when it is over!!

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