Foreword

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Educators: I'm sure we all want the same thing. I'm absolutely certain that the norm is that we want the best for our learners. It sounds so simple, yet the sector constantly grapples with the improvement it so passionately wants to make.

 

Throughout my career, I've witnessed the efforts we all make. Somehow though, those efforts are often disjointed, creating an 'us and them' feeling between teachers and managers and a culture of fear in which enthusiasm is lost and innovation fails to thrive. My quest, and yours I'm sure, is instead, to make those efforts count. That's what this package is for. It's to help us use observation to meaningfully improve learning. It's to help us all learn from observation, and do so in a way that helps us all thrive. It's to support teachers, managers, observers and coaches to work together to make improvements happen.

 

There are just a couple of points I want to draw attention to. This package is not meant to mimic the way most observations are carried out today. It also won't cover the many ways in which observation can be carried out. That's just too big a job to fit here. What it will do, if you use it fully, is open minds, challenge thinking and develop skills. It's a package primarily for observers, but there is great use here for teachers too and for managers who want to develop their self assessment and improvement skills.

 

I sincerely hope using this package can help you and your colleagues, and in turn your learners. I hope you can embrace the activities within it. I hope it speaks to you. I hope you can use it positively for the improvement we all seek.

 

Before I go, I want to say thank you. I'm so grateful to the wonderful learners who allowed us into their world, and the brave teachers who put themselves out there. They have all taken a risk, and I do hope you can appreciate and value them for that. I also have to thank the aspiring film crew, a group of media students who filmed all of this facilitated by their invaluable technician. For me, observing the learners learning in these sessions whilst watching the learning and growth from this young film crew was an absolute joy to behold.

 

I hope you find some joy here too.

In faith

Deborah McVey