Teaching may be your life's calling, but the idea of being observed by your principal and/or other administrative staff may still make you nervous. The observation process exists to ensure that you're doing the best job you can and being effective for students, so you owe it to yourself and the kids to focus on these vital pointers when preparing for the event.

Notify Your Classes

Your classroom students needn't know the details of your observer's visit, but it's smart to have them ready for visitation. Some quick guidelines about politeness, respect and proper classroom behavior are in order.

Avoid Anything New

While the lesson you're teaching may cover new material, it's unwise to unveil something completely out of the ordinary for the benefit of your observer. Not only might the students remark out loud how unusual such a lesson would be, but you won't have much control over how well it works out. Instead, choose a lesson that's related in some way to something that has been successful with students in months past. For instance, if you allowed them to dress as their favorite literary character from a book you're reading, you might ask them to dress up again.

Have a Backup

If your principal or other observer has a hectic morning or a meeting runs late, they may contact you for rescheduling. In that case, your dynamite lesson will still go on and you'll need to arrange another for the new observation date. You're likely always working to come up with effective lesson plans anyway, so strive to have a few backups in your repertoire for times like that.

Listen to Students

Sometimes, teachers hog all the class time talking, since they imagine that their classroom observer is there to grade them on their individual performance. While your observer will be watching, of course, it's much more important to show them that you interact with students well and that they are learning something from you. If you don't speak that much but show excellent engagement and involve the entire class in what you're doing, you may still get fantastic feedback.


The observation is simply one moment of your whole teaching career. The classroom observer knows that everyone has not-so-great days and will probably not evaluate you completely on the brief lesson they observe. Try to relax and give it your best effort.

Classroom observations don't have to drive you crazy. If possible, get a hold of a classroom evaluation form before the date so you've got a better idea of what you'll be evaluated on.