Best Practice

Effective lesson observations

Observing a lesson is not as easy as one might think. Adam Riches draws on his experience to offer advice on how to approach lesson observations to ensure good outcomes

Observing a lesson is an art. As I have progressed through my career, I have taken on more and more responsibility for improving other people’s teaching and one thing I have realised is that without an open approach to lesson observation, helping teachers to progress is very difficult.

A pitfall many observers fall into is looking for a very specific list of “features” in an individual’s teaching, potentially from the legacy of Ofsted inspections gone by. This archaic, linear fashion of observing is outdated and not hugely productive for observer or observee.

In reality we all know that good teaching isn’t about ticking boxes. Instead, it is about children learning. Observing successful teaching may not always be as clear cut and explicit as this, however, so how can we go about observing in a way that truly benefits teachers and pupils?

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