Last Friday, I had my very first lesson observation by the in-house teacher trainer. The lesson planning leading up to the observation was very reminiscent of my CELTA days, and it was great — I felt like I was in my element. Lesson planning has always been my strong suit, though, and it’s in my execution where I feel I’m a little less solid. So as usual, I was nervous on observation day — sweating, of course.
As soon as I got started with the lesson, I felt very relaxed. I’d been teaching this class for two weeks already, so I was familiar with them and I’d already established rapport. I went through the stages and I modified the plan when I felt it was necessary. Overall, I felt that it went well — nothing particularly spectacular, but the aims were met.
After the lesson, I did my self-reflection and analysis, then it was time for the feedback session with the trainer — my pen and notebook at the ready for any and all criticisms. His opening words were, “I didn’t know what to expect because I don’t know much about you and I know that you don’t have much previous experience, but I was very impressed.” He went on to say that it was quite rare for someone’s very first observation to go as well as mine did and that he ran out of space to list down my strengths. He also mentioned that my lesson was DELTA standard.
I cannot describe how I felt at that moment. It was probably a mixture of surprise, gratitude, and pride. Prior to the lesson, I thought a lot about one of my Teaching Practice sessions in CELTA wherein I felt that the lesson had gone horribly only to find out afterwards that my trainer had given me an above standard mark. It was a similar feeling then, thinking it went alright but the feedback indicating it was more than just alright. It was a massive confidence booster.
I’ve always known that I am a capable teacher and I know that I can get the job done. This is exactly what I’ve been fighting for ever since I got my CELTA leading up to my degree and my job search. I know that I can do it and I know that I’m a good teacher, but I often underestimate or undervalue myself — I have always been my harshest critic. After this observation, though, I feel a change in that.
Looking forward to what’s to come.