Microteaching and Class ObservationObservation of other teacher (or of other trainees on a course) is an excellent way of helping oneself to become more aware of options and possibilities. Observation tasks can help observer to focus more clearly on what is happening in a lesson. They may provide useful information or insights for personal reflection or for a post-lesson discussion with the teacher. This does not imply that 'evaluation' or 'criticism' is required. Observation and discussion are learning tools for the observer and the teacher. In the right environment, where both people are respectful and supportive of each other, and where there is a clear agreement to be honest, then a post-lesson discussion can be invaluable as a way of moving forward.
By observation tasks you can:observe more experienced teacher's lessonobserve a colleague's lessonagree to observe each other's lessonsobserve a trainee teacher's lessonask someone to observe your own lessonthink back to a lesson you have already seenthink back to a lesson you have already taughtYou can:discuss the lesson before it happensdiscuss it afterwardsnot discuss it at allfill in the task during the lessonnot fill in the task, but use it to focus your thoughtsgive the filled-in task to the teacherkeep the filled in task for yourselfdiscuss the filled-in taskWhile observing you can focus on classroom interaction, options and decisions, staging, objectives, the learners, feedback to learners, errors and correction, questions.
Sources:Scrivener, J.: Learning Teaching. Heinemann, 1994, pg. 201-211.
My reflection:I think observation is a great way how to improve your teaching. It is difficult to observe yourself while teaching. Many time teachers do not even realize some mistake or problem until somebody tells them about it. Therefore it is good to observe and to be observed. It gives teachers hints...