Why are observations often better than ‘normal’ lessons?
The cynic may argue that teachers are good at covering themselves in front of their managers and ensuring they get their performance-related bonus. Perhaps this is true, but in my experience there’s another force at work. I start thinking about observed lessons a day or two earlier than others. In the run up to the lesson, I keep turning the lesson over in my mind, working out where the flaws are, which bits matter most, what elements are missing. I don’t do anything substantially different, I don’t give it much extra time, I just mentally test the lesson a little further. As a consequence, I catch the gaps which sometimes emerge in ‘day-to-day’ teaching.