(Closed) teacher nervous for onlookers

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

How long have you been teaching? I get nervous about people watching my classes but I’m mainly a kindy teacher and have become used to it from having parents watching through the windows, co-teachers training with me etc. Ofcourse it is more pressure if it is the head of school. Also I teach a class of 8 year olds and they are harder to control in a way because they require more discipline – my little ones hate to be in trouble but the older ones sometimes don’t care. Sometimes having another adult in the room can make them behave better though because they think they are watching them rather than assessing you.

Just focus on what you usually do, they are your students and you know what you are doing! Run through the things you will do in class that day in advance so the kids have a good understanding already (not the exact same work but similar things so that you get them participating and answering correctly). Try and anticipate any problems that may come up in the lesson, or things the students might not understand and how you can explain things in a more simple way, etc. And get a good night sleep the night before! Good luck 🙂

Post # 3
Member
1587 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I’ve had about five or six now (it is part of the performance management process at my school) and I still get nervous, but regarding behaviour management, often the students are scared of playing up in front of the principal. I’ve found it doesn’t hurt to tell them beforehand that the principal is coming “to watch me teach and you learn”. I’ve taught three classes with real wildcard children and they were usually the best behaved when an observation happens. 

Make sure you check your resources beforehand so you don’t have to deal with dramas like not having enough photocopies or a website stuffing up. Often principals like it when you throw some ICT in there, as long as it contributes to the learning intention. And ultimately, in a good supportive workplace they will use it to offer you support and PD opportunities, not to criticise you for little mistakes. Good luck!

Post # 4
Member
1587 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I would also consider planning the lesson as follow up or extension to a concept you’ve already encouraged. That way, the kids have background knowledge and you demonstrate your ability to differentiate by giving the competent kids extension on the prior learning, and supporting the ones that didn’t get it. 

Post # 5
Member
175 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I get super nervous too! I was just observered yesterday and I got really flustered and made some mistakes during my lecture (I teach high school math). Unfortunately I don’t have any helpful advice. I’m a newer teacher and the other teachers I’ve talked to about it say it just gets easier with time, and that you get used to it.

Post # 6
Member
403 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
ivdw :  I am a teacher too. ( See my posts on baby names!:) )Have your discipline plan firmly in place and refresh the students on it. I am death on this subject. Prep the kids. “We will have some visitiors. Continue on with your studies as usual. I want to show off how good you are.” I’ve never had a problem. I look as visitors and administration as a good thing. God forbid if anything happened, they can say, “I’ve been in Ms. So and So’s room a thousand times and this ( whatever) couldn’t have happened.”

Post # 8
Member
3523 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Just remember that the people observing you have been there! They know kids get loud. They know they act out. What they’re looking for is a good learning environment. They want to see functional routines, teaching strategies, and kids who are learning. If a student is acting out, they are interested in how you handle it.

The feedback you get can be so great! Remember that they aren’t coming into your room to tear you down. You are not the greatest teacher in the world and they do not expect you to be. You will make mistakes, you will learn from them, and you will get better and better. Having someone observe you is so helpful. Because when you make changes based om feedback, your classroom will be better! You will be a better teacher and your job will be easier. Focus on it from a positive perspective. You’ll be great!

And it does not hurt to tell the kids ahead of time and let them know that a visitor is coming to see how well they can follow the rules. 😉

Post # 10
Member
3801 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

You’ve been teaching for four years and have only been evaluated twice? Geez. In my district, our principals do two hour-long observations per year in addition to random pop ins that usually last 20 minutes or so. They let us know when the long, formal observations are so we can plan ahead, but we never know when the shorter ones will be. I used to get a lot more nervous than I get now (6th year teaching high school English). For my formal observations I always tell the kids ahead of time. I’ve never had an issue with kids wanting to act up or be silly during my observations because the principal is there. They wouldn’t dare act up in front of him. If anything they are better behaved than usual. I agree with PP that a good lesson to be observed on is one where you’re not necessarily teaching a bunch of new material. Review lessons that allow students to work with a partner, use technology of some sort, or write about what they’ve been learning are always good lessons that will keep kids engaged. Good luck! 

Post # 11
Member
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I would say…  Make sure you plan that particular class day to a T.  Really think about your seating arrangement.  If any kids need to be seaparated or given extra duties to keep them under control…  make sure they got what they need.  I don’t like planning every second of my day.  But, the more you plan the less the odds are for flaw.  And I do think it helps if you know the kids get into something… then plan some of that thing.  In addition, because its your job…  If you are really good at something that you shine at, then plan that also.  Theres nothing wrong with making yourself look good.  It also helps to have activities you feel comfortable with that you can really get into.  Anotherwords…  forget you are being watched, make your day easy and help it flow as easy as possible.

Post # 12
Member
4426 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

View original reply
ivdw :  This is my 5th year and I’ll still get a little twinge of nervousness, but for the most part, I forget they’re there. As long as you’re doing something that fits with your end goal and is authentic, no sweat. In my opinion, students should be making noise because they should be engaging with one another to help their learning. You’ll do fine! 

 

 

Post # 13
Member
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2026

I’ve realized that evaluations are going to happen once or twice a year for every teacher the moment I started student teaching (my supervisors would come in to evaluate). It is a pretty nerve-wracking process and one time clearly my class was out of control but I was actually glad my supervisor was there to witness it to give me tips on how to handle the classroom.

During my first year of teaching, I had my mentor teacher and lead teacher come in at separate times and the director come in several times, twice official and other moments unannounced. I had a pretty difficult class and was new into teaching, so you can imagine how lacking my classroom management skills might have been. Fortunately the kids were always extremely behaved when he entered the classroom because he had a very strong presence.

I am in my second year of teaching now and began this position as a sub. My boss would come in at random times the first week to check up on me and I constantly felt like I was being judged and evaluated. There was one time my student (who has a very short temper) started complaining out loud in class. Other times they were very calm and quiet throughout my teaching. Anyone who has been in any teaching situation knows that not every day the kids are calm and engaged. The head of school should be someone that has had teaching experience before, so I am sure that s/he would understand that sometimes things don’t go perfectly–it’s how you handle them that they want to see. I am assuming you are much more experienced than I am. Experience really does make you a better teacher! You will do great. 🙂 

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