Monday, February 27, 2012

Monthly Teaching Inspection

In China, as in many other Asian countries, it's typical and mandatory for another teacher and/or the head teacher to sit in their colleague's classroom as a student and an inspector.

I had my class inspected today, and I couldn't help but laugh behind the flashcards as I murmured how ridiculous the whole thing was. You see, I only had about 25 students in the classroom, but due to the Inspection, I had over 30 pupils in the classroom, including 6 teachers. The students were on their best behavior alright!

Last term, my grade three class of only 7 students was inspected by 3 other teachers. So we had 5 teachers and 7 students in total. I felt very crowded and uncomfortable during the whole "demo" as it wasn't natural.
Can you imagine giving a "normal' class with this many people?

I asked my co-teacher why the school does this, she said she doesn't know. But I think the reason behind it is for the teachers to point out the strengths and weaknesses of their colleague, maximizing the students learning experience.
I think it's a completely waste of time, because different subjects requires different teaching skills and methods. So, a math teacher can't be instructing a music teacher on how to do her job, the same way a music teacher cannot be giving a language teacher teaching tips. Also, each teacher has his/her own way of teaching. But when a teacher has to give a performance like what I had to to do today, he/she will prepare the most entertaining and amusing show the best he/she can. And on days when she doesn't have to "perform", she will simply go back to her old routine that might not be amusing to the other teachers and head teachers. I'm sure the school is aware of this, but I guess they enjoy being entertained by their colleagues performances. 


Naija4Life said...

It seems a bit different to the UK where I work as a teacher, we actually call it lesson observation. Inspection is when we have an external body like Ofsted, responsible for inspecting schools.

But anyway, in UK schools, a teacher needs to be observed at least once every term, 3 times in an academic year. I don't think it's a complete waste of time depending on what the observation is meant to achieve - which is mainly to support rather than a stick to beat a teacher with. It's part of continuous professional development (CPD) and performance management which is linked to pay.

I guess having 6 teachers observing a lesson is a bit over the top but one or two is more reasonable.

Anonymous said...

I guess they have similar purposes too here in China. Since no one tells the foreign teacher anything, I wouldn't really know why they do it. But I think of it more like a performance, because the teacher will go over the top when he knows he is being watched. We all do it anyway because it's the school's policy.

Molara Brown said...

Okay, I don't teach but I know once in a while my colleagues also come to see with me when working and we just discuss basically work. Found out, it was some sort of assessment and they give the boss feedback.

How is life like in China, I thought blogger was part of the blocked websites.

~Adeola~ said...

I guess classroom inspection is foreign to me as a Canadian. I hear it's difficult to find placements for training teachers because the certified teachers fear being judged and are uncomfortable with someone watching them teach and work. This is also true for other profession.
Yes, blogger is one of the blocked websites, among many others. I plan to do a blog post on how I get to keep this website soon.
Thanks for commenting.