There is a great deal of talk in the educational world these days about the accountability of teachers. One of the ways teacher performance is rated is a classroom observation by a school administrator.
I am a teacher. Although I understand the need for accountability, it makes me uncomfortable that my entire year’s performance can be judged in a 45 minute snapshot. In the correct manner, an observation is used to find some strengths, and help teachers find ways to improve their performance and student learning. At my school, it is taken a bit more seriously, and it does not make me comfortable that jobs are maintained or lost based on a single observation. Last year, even though my students are performing very well, I had received good reports in the past, and have a positive reputation in the school community, criticism from an adminstrator’s single observation almost cost me my job. It was another single good observation later in the year that saved me. Hence the reason for my lack of faith in our school’s system.
I use this information to illustrate an important concept. It was recently observation time for me again. As I prayed about it, I felt God telling me I had two options. I could focus on my distrust, negative thoughts, and feelings of inadequacy, or I could focus on His strength, positive thoughts, and feelings of success. I quickly decided my chances were much better if I chose the latter.
Before the observation, I did two things. One is that I prayed for success. The second is an excellent enhancer to any prayer. I played out a successful teaching experience over and over in my mind. I saw the positive response of the students and my observer. I heard my positive, confident voice. I felt the satisfaction of student achievement as well as my own.
As I focused on these two things, there was no doubt that this would be a positive experience. As it turned out, my report came back positive and ideal. I learned of several positives that added to the positive classroom experience. I also learned some helpful information that could enhance those positives. Just as an observation should be!
I cannot stress enough the importance of experiencing positive observations in our minds. For any situation, when we see and experience success in our minds first, it plays out in our world, usually sooner than later. Success becomes natural because we’ve already “experienced” it many times. As I’ve said before, our subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real and imagined event. If it sees success, real or not, it will lead us there for more.
God has been kind enough to give us an imagination. Let us use it for our good and His by seeing and experiencing the events we wish to live out for real. Before long, it will no longer be a part of the imagination. Instead it will be our real, normal life experience. Enjoy the blessing : )