Knight explains that modeling and observation are complementary activities that do not have to be stressful to the teacher. He stresses the important of the approach of equal partnership, with the teacher and instructional coach co-creating the form that will be used for recording observations. The teacher uses the form to observe the practice being modeled in a lesson; the coach uses the same form when observing the teacher’s teaching. Knight stresses the importance of recording what the teacher does well, as well as any suggestions, focusing on the teaching practice being explored. A form is usually adequate for observations, but in some cases it may be necessary to record data to determine the progress in using a particular teaching approach.
To me, the important consideration in any observation is to make sure that the collaborating teacher and coach both have clear, shared understanding of the purpose of the observation. It seems clear to me that to respect teachers as equal partners, they need to be part of the process of determining the focus, as well as planning implementation. To get the most professional growth out of an experience, it is important for teachers to engage in reflection; this works best if they fully understand the process and are completely engaged in it.
Book Citation: Knight, J. (Ed.). (2008). Coaching: Approaches and perspectives. Corwin Press.