a) Description: Trainer Observations include both new instructors and old instructors at Bilgi Preparatory School. The instructors are provided with necessary guidance and support for lesson planning by the TDC prior to TT observations. The overall procedure is as follows;
- New instructors complete the induction program and the main steps of the mentorship program prior to the trainer observation,
- For the new instructors, TT Observations start in Q1, and they continue in Q2,
- New Instructors can be observed more than once if necessary,
- Old instructors are observed once throughout the academic year.
b) Aims: Trainer Observations aim to;
- promote self-awareness of instructors’ strengths and areas to be improved,
- help instructors improve the quality of teaching,
- provide valuable data about how the curriculum is implemented,
- collect data about specific learners / levels,
- reach a standard of classroom teaching as an institution.
c) Detailed Procedure: The observation cycle is as follows;
- Scheduling: Instructor and trainer set (1) pre-conference, (2) classroom observation, and (3) post-conference dates in advance. Trainer clarifies how the observation cycle is implemented.
- Lesson Planning: Instructor plans his/her lesson including;
- clear overall lesson objectives and students’ learning outcomes (i.e. what the students will be able to do that they weren’t able to do before by the end of the lesson)
- aims for tasks/activities planned
- anticipated problems
- special learning circumstances
- strategies for teaching the lesson
Before the pre-conference, during his/her lesson planning, instructor may consult with the trainer in order to get some ideas.
- Pre-observation Conference: During the pre-observation conference, the instructor gives the general outline of his/her lesson-- lesson objectives, materials, lesson stages, and some useful information such as anticipated problems, class profile, class size, etc. Teacher submits a copy of his/her lesson plan to the trainer. Trainer can make suggestions to the instructor if the instructor wishes. Trainers suggest that most observations are based on the materials and objectives given for that day rather than a special, “display” lesson.
- Observation: On the observation day, the instructor meets the trainer some minutes before the lesson starts and they go to class together. It is helpful if the instructor chooses where s/he wants the trainer to sit in the class. During the observation, trainer writes a running commentary (basically what exactly is happening in class is recorded including timing, student interaction and comment about the tasks/activities) about the lesson. Observations are generally conducted on a one lesson-hour basis.
- Reflection: After the observation, the instructor writes a reflection of his/her lesson (i.e. on the strengths, areas to improve, etc.) while the trainer summarizes the key points and writes an observation report.
- Post-observation Conference: On the post-observation conference day, the trainer asks the instructor to reflect on the lesson, then lets the instructor see the running commentary of the lesson and gives feedback on the main focus of the observation. The trainer gives the instructor a copy of both the running commentary and of the observation feedback report. The teacher and the trainer negotiate the report items before putting it in the instructor’s personal file.
- Follow-Up: Following the observation cycle, trainer may suggest that the instructor carry out some follow-up activities (e.g. video-observation, peer observation, etc.) or research based on the observation feedback.