I underwent classroom observation using the newest classroom observation tool (COT) last November 12, 2018. This assessment tool for teachers is one of the ways teachers’ performance can be assessed under the PPST- RPMS program of the Department of Education. I wrote this post to share my experience and impression on this breakthrough.
The teachers of Anda, Pangasinan attended an orientation about the PPST- RPMS implementation last October 25 and 26. I joined the event and I was enlightened what the implementation is for. The speakers discussed deeply the usage of COT. It is the tool that the observers can use to assess the teaching task of a teacher in a particular topic. Comparing this to the previous tool we used, it has only few indicators to meet against the former tool having more than 30 indicators. I was anxious after the training as I am afraid that the tool might drag me down.
The moment of truth happened and our new school head is very zealous to utilize it. During the first week of November, he asked the faculty to get ready. He also expressed that we need to be scheduled for smooth flow of the process. Without nervousness and second thought, I boldly raised my hand and said “I go first.”
It is not being “pabida”, but I felt that time that I need to go first for me not to overthink what happens to my colleagues after observation while I am waiting for my turn. I do not want to prolong my anxiousness. I want to try it immediately. Furthermore, I grabbed the opportunity to be the early bird to be “sentenced” because my topic during that schedule is still easy. (Hehehe).
I spent my Sunday afternoon looking for materials relevant to my topic. I chose Reading and Writing Skills as the subject to be observed. My topic was patterns of development in writing focusing on definition. Modesty aside, I tried teaching the topic last year so I can say that I have now a background. I used my lesson plan last year and I made updates to make it relevant this school year. I incorporated more videos and new activities that I thought will tickle students’ critical thinking skills and participation. Even though I know my topic, I was not totally aplomb. I read my topic the night before my judgment. It is not yet the final judgment as I need to pass through four observations. I was just starting.
Fortunately, I had two hours vacant that I used to create my visual aids. I am a Manila paper user and I love using it in teaching. I made my materials for the group activity. I also love using metacards that construction papers were not absent during my teaching.
It was 9:45 in the morning when I invited my school head in my classroom. I was not tense compared to my previous observations maybe because I am used to it as I had experienced with my cooperating teacher back in my practice teaching days, college instructors, principals, and public schools district supervisors. But, honestly, I conditioned myself not to get nervous for me to remain focus. I tried to be overpowered by nervousness in my observation that ended up into a disaster.
I started with the usual routine such as greeting my learners, checking the attendance, and review the previous lesson. Let’s get ready to rumble!!!
For my motivation, I grouped my learners by three. They did Define Me activity where each group need to match the words written in the metacards to their corresponding meanings written in the manila paper. One correct answer is one point. If they answer the bonus item, they will get additional five points. My learners were eager to accomplish the output properly and quickly. When the time was up, we checked their answers. The three groups garnered 8 points. They got the bonus item which is brain. The words used in the activity have something to do with brain. That was the turning point I mentioned definition as a pattern.
We had a good discussion about it. They easily learned the concept and its types: scientific and subjective definitions. I emphasized that definitions are seen in dictionary. For that, I showed a video about the Filipino words included now in Oxford English Dictionary. We enjoyed pronouncing the word “bongga.”
To strengthen the learning, my learners read a science article about brain aneurysm. They answered five comprehension check questions pertaining to the reading material. After the allotted time was done, we answered the questions. The learners answered correctly. I was happy about the result. I showed a video about the illness that elucidated them. I saw the reaction of my school head after watching it. My aim that day was to educate the learners about this serious brain problem.
To end my topic, I gave a graphic organizer assignment about brain aneurysm. I took a deep breath after my learners said goodbye. I was happy about my performance. I can say that it was my best observation so far. My observations before were not yet all okay.
I went to the office during my vacant time for post- evaluation. I received kind words from my school head. He appreciated my stance to speak in English in my class the whole time. Well, it is needed to motivate my learners to do so. He admitted he was confused what subject I am teaching if it is English or Science. He realized that I am an English teacher. I told him that I am usually integrating other subjects in my class for multipurpose learning such as what I did in my teaching. I love using other subjects as my springboard like social studies to be discussed in teaching literature. He congratulated me and he told me to maintain my performance. When I received my score, I was in Cloud 9. I cannot believed that I attained that score. It was higher compared to what I got before. I was happy. Hard work really reaps success.
The classroom observation tool is teacher- friendly. It makes you to achieve more compared to the previous tools we are using. The tool is clear, specific, and attainable. I am glad that it is created for us, teachers. It makes my teaching easier. This progress is all right. This is promising. I hope that the department will provide textbooks for more effective teaching sooner. I produced the reading materials that I took online. There are subjects under Senior High School still having no learners’ materials.
My journey does not stop here. There are lots of work to do. I will keep improving my craft for my learners.