Three Reasons Why Every Teacher-In-Training Has To Go Through Observation
As a student, you probably remember all those times you had a student teacher in class, right? Remember when it came time for those student teachers to teach? They had to do that for at least a week or two, maybe more. Then, they had to have their teachers come to your class to do a teacher observation. It seems weird: three teachers in one room, but only one is actually teaching while the other two are just watching. So why does every teacher have to be observed? Could they not just teach and be recorded? The answers to your inquisitive questions follow.
Student Teachers Have to Be Observed for Safety Reasons
Teachers are licensed professionals. They cannot get their license by teaching in a classroom alone because that puts them at risk. If a student is hurt while the only teacher in the room is a student teacher, the student teacher may be sued and/or denied a teaching license. The teacher that is regularly in the room has to be there at all times to ensure the safety of the students and the safety of the student teacher.
The Teacher of the Student Teacher Needs to See That the Student Teacher Can Manage a Classroom
Kids of any age are downright unruly when the regular teacher steps down from teaching to allow a student teacher to teach. This is the "make or break" moment for student teachers. They have to be able to manage the classroom without imploding or exploding. Calm classroom control is an essential skill and one which the teacher of the student teacher needs to see. Hence, the teacher observation portion of clinical teaching.
The Observation Is Part of the Coursework and Licensing Procedure
You cannot get a driver's license if someone does not see you perform the various driving tasks. The same holds true in teaching. Not only is the teacher observation portion part of the coursework, but it is also part of the licensing procedure.
The teacher of the student teacher cannot confirm and sign important documents attesting to the student teacher's abilities and capability to teach unless the student teacher is first observed. Those wanting to teach will shine when they are being observed. Those who probably should not teach, or get so nervous that they have to stop or become ill while being observed, will quickly realize at this point in the game that they should not become teachers.