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I was a...PODCAST virgin!

So…what exactly is BEST PRACTICE in classroom observation? …but, Madonna kept jumping in on my iTunes playlists (and she has just been to big, bad İstanbul)! Besides, I’m guessing I might get a few more “hits” with the iTunes-inspired version 2.0 of the “title”! Although, the original idea is hardly the sexiest of blog post titles…our topic for today (boyz n’ girlz) is…

Onwards and sideways… A few weeks ago those lovely chaps at ELTchat (check them out on twitter, too - #eltchatthere are some really great discussions) – had a virtual chin-wag on allthingsobservation. As I had been banging about classroom observation (the recent series on “Misfires” and “Advice for Observers”), I just had to sign up! Problem was…I found meself on a high-speed train (from Eskişehir) at exactly the same time. As good as the wonders of a 3G iPad might be, tweet I could not! A couple of tweets did manage to get through:

Marisa Constantinides (aka @Marisa_C) to the rescue! Marisa and I had chatted before the session and I’d said “I’ll be there”! She knew how upset I was that I missed the twitter shin-dig and asked if I’d like to “get my voice back” by doing a podcast with her ELTchat partner-in-crime, James Taylor (aka @theteacherjames). Yeah, it was like mum n’ dad had forgiven me…and let me downstairs to see Steve Austin (and, from time-to-time, Jaime Sommers…and Maximillionthe bionic dog, too) "save" the day (in actual fact, this hardly ever happened when I was a kid...my mum and dad never backed down)! Me and @theteacherjames had to overcome a few challenges – schedules, unplanned “flying visits”…and bloody Skype (even when you have to sell a kidney every month to get the type of internet connection that, so they tell you, would even make God herself jealous)! I was a “podcast virgin” - @theteacherjames was not! He was kind and considerate – “wining n’ dining” me first (as a gentleman always should) – and getting me all comfortable by chatting about football and the woes of actually setting up and editing podcasts. I couldn’t have asked for a better “first”… Pretty soon we were on fire…he used a lot of the questions raised during the #eltchat twitter session (you can find the full transcript of the discussion – HERE). I found that I relaxed pretty quickly and we ended up chatting for over an hour. I’m guessing you’ll have to make up your own minds as to whether what we said to eachother makes sense or not (CLICK HERE – to listen to the edited version  the podcast) – James tells me that he'll get up the full unedited version up (the 'R' rated version) very soon so watch his spot (and maybe play around with PodOmatic itself! I think Marisa, James and all the other #eltchatterers would love to hear what you think (go on, add a comment or three to this post)!

In the original discussion, a lot of the participants shared a wide range of resources on classroom observation:

  1. Teacher Observations as a Positive Experience (by Chris Cotter)

  2. Teacher Observation: Could you benefit from self-observation? (by Richard Whiteside)

  3. Teacher Observation and Formative Feedback (set of videos)

  4. Some Observations on Observation (by Dave Dodgson)

  5. Learning Walks (discussion string on TES)

  6. Performance Management of Teachers (by Vic Richards)

  7. On Being an Observer  (by Chris Ożóg)

  8. What quantum mechanics can teach us about lesson observations (by Chris Wilson & “Schroedinger’s Cat”)

  9. A Personal Misfire as an Observee and Personal Misfires as an Observer (by Mike Griffin) OK – I cheated (just a tweeny-weeny bit)! These last two were not mentioned in the original chat – but they should’ve been…and would’ve been if I hadn’t been on a stupid “hızlı tren”… These are also some of the musings I have thrown up on allthingslearning over the past couple of months - the weekend is coming up and you might fancy a bit of "bedtime reading" this weekend:

  10. CLASSROOM OBSERVATION – What Works, What Matters?

  11. Getting Classroom Observation “RIGHT”…

  12. The Secret Diaries of Observees – Two Teachers Reflect…

  13. What do GREAT Classroom Observers “Know” – and, what do they do with what they know? Oh, yes…and there was the “mega-series” (that went on almost as long as Dallas or Friends):

  14. Why do we still have so many MISFIRES with classroom observation? (Pt 01)

  15. Why do we still have so many MISFIRES with classroom observation? (Pt 02)

  16. Why do we still have so many MISFIRES with classroom observation? (Pt 03)

  17. Why do we still have so many MISFIRES with classroom observation? (Pt 04)

  18. Why do we still have so many MISFIRES with classroom observation? (Pt 05)

  19. Why do we still have so many MISFIRES with classroom observation? (Pt 06) …there was MORE:

  20. Personal MISFIRES with Classroom Observation (…NOT Part 07) - this is also the "lead-in" to Mike's posts..

  21. How to REALLY avoid MISFIRES with Feedback Sessions (…NOT Part 08) Now, looking back at all of this stuff – not so sure, am I – that it represents “Best Practice” in Classroom Observation…(this is why my second title works so much better)... But, hey…if it gives you a couple of ideas for “Next Practice” in your context – maybe that’s not too shabby!

...Marisa, James (and Mike)…

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