Teacher Training students observe the excellent practice of some of the college’s teaching staff

Recently, all twenty-seven Teacher Training students had the fantastic opportunity to be involved in a peer observation process that included some of the college’s finest teachers. This was the first time that this scheme had ever been used before, with the trainee teachers going to watch lessons from a wide variety of curriculum areas, such as, Travel & Tourism, ESOL, Functional Skills, Hair & Beauty and Art & Design.

First and Second Year Teacher Training students, who are currently doing their Certificate / Professional  Graduate Certificate in Education (PCE), went out in their respective year groups and spent about 45 minutes observing the excellent practice of some of the college’s teaching staff who have long records of delivering teaching and learning methods that are highly effective and creative. Students observed this excellent practice in pairs to generate discuss before and after their peer observation.

All students went out at the same time to observe college staff, and then returned to their weekly lesson to share and discuss the models of best practice that they had seen. There was a real buzz after their visits, with learners highly animated about the experiences that they had witnessed and the outstanding examples of teaching and learning that they had closely observed. The experience sharing was a vital component of this process as it allowed all pairs to discuss the excellent teaching practice that they witnessed and to share this with their classmates.

There were many examples of how these cross-college peer observations were of benefit to the Teacher Training students. All students completed the college’s peer observation paperwork, and many contacted the teacher they observed to thank them for such a rewarding experience. Some of the learner comments included, “It was very interesting and good to be able to look at others and how they work.  Well worth the visit and enjoyed it immensely” and “It was awesome! I loved it and will be using some of their fantastic ideas in my own teaching. When can I go back and see some more?”

This was a highly beneficial experience for all trainee teachers, and one that will now be a regular event for future courses.