Original 2003 Post:
What a great day! Three lessons, voice and an observation! Whee!
An observation at NOVA was when an experienced teacher got to watch a training teacher’s lesson and offer feedback. Apparently my 6 weeks on the job qualified me to do this. Watching other teachers, even the training teachers, was a great way to get some new ideas for lessons. It also required no planning at all, which made things much more relaxed.
The biggest mistake that training teachers would make is on lesson timing. NOVA lessons were 40 minutes each and had a few different stages including a warm up, language introduction, drills, and then usually an activity to practice the new language. New teachers would rush through everything and be done in 20 minutes, leaving a 20 minutes of “WTF do I do now?”. During one memorable observation, the teacher actually opened the door and asked me for ideas on how to fill the remaining lesson time. I got him to get the students talking for a minute, and then frantically wrote down a list of ideas on a piece of paper.
If you are an English teacher and are getting to observe training teachers, make good comments and offer good advice. That way you will get picked for observations again and get a nice break from lesson planning and teaching!