The Power of Observing
A robin in the birdbath. Kids playing frisbee in the driveway. My neighbor working in her garden. A bee buzzing around the zinnias out front. My sweet Lucy dog asleep on the back porch. These are things I love to watch – observing little bits of life – noticing small details to help me better understand what’s going on around me.
As always, our first day at a Zambian school is spent observing teachers, watching their students, and noticing the culture of a classroom. All too often, teachers across the globe are rarely provided the opportunity to watch each other, and yet so much can be gleaned from observing. Listening to what is said while paying attention to teacher and student interactions can help steer us in the right direction on how to best serve both groups. What’s easy? Starting the conversation afterwards, naming the areas of strength in the classroom, asking what went well during the lesson, while praising the teacher for specific accomplishments in the classroom. What’s difficult but worth it? Working together to figure out how to best meet the needs of all students in the classroom, using information from the observations and from the teacher’s perspective. Yes, most school days fly by, and the kids come and go, but if we take the time to notice the little things, it might just make a big impact for our students.