Give me but one firm spot on which to stand, and I will move the earth.”
Archimedes, on the action of a lever
More modestly, introducing leverage observations, Paul Bambrick-Santoyo quoted Abraham Lincoln:
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” (citation issues)
Many aspects of lesson observations inhibit their usefulness and prevent them from sharpening our metaphorical axes. For example:
They are usually infrequent. In my former school, after my NQT year, I received one, annual Performance Management observation. A collegial department, planning with colleagues and peer observations have huge merits, but only a critical observer will identify how well students are actually learning – and what I’ve missed. Annual, or even termly observations make this unlikely to be a major influence on me.
Many observations remain judgmental. At my current school, determined to do staff development better, we held six…
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