As a teacher, I get observed a lot. Perhaps it is unlike other jobs because it is only in these isolated moments that I come under scrutiny. Most of the time, I am left to myself and eyebrows only get raised when the results are not as they were expected.
Not all of my observers are evaluating me. Some are just curious, some are part of a fantastic marketing scheme which believes that the best sales pitch is the product itself (in this case it is the teacher and the teaching–and no, this does not bother me. I have long accepted my status as a commodity) and some are other teachers or potential teachers.
For the record, potential teachers as observers are the rewarding ones. If they get a glimpse of what can be done and what can be done well, then certainly you’ve left your mark.
Today, I was observed by an English teacher from a foreign country. He had come accompanying some of his students. This observation was to make sure that his students were in good hands and that they might actually benefit from this trip.
I know that teaching methods are different in every country, and I know different cultures put varying degrees of value on different teaching methodologies, pedagogies, and approaches. So, of course, I was a little worried when this observer came to my class. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had hated everything I did in class.
All turned out well, though. He genuinely appreciated my lesson and our discussion afterward was very rewarding. His enthusiasm allowed me to proceed through the rest of my (tougher) teaching day. So, in this regard, it was the perfect moment.