Observing beginning teachers’ lessons
This chapter considers the place of observation as part of teacher training, as a central part of how beginning teachers learn. It explores the role that mentors have when observing teachers and its relationship with feedback, both spoken and written. All student teachers need to observe others teaching; it is built into all Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes and often the main occupation of the trainee teacher in the initial days of their school placement. Providing feedback to English Teachers' beginning teacher is a vital aspect of their role, because it is part of their learning. However, the nature of feedback in ITE is often ‘high-stakes’ because it is linked to assessment and, ultimately, whether or not the student teacher will achieve their teaching qualification. The pivotal nature of developmental feedback recurs in the literature and research around mentoring. The literature on mentor feedback identifies a number of features which make it effective, including: being supportive.