By Claire Kilroy
Teacher Peer Observation (TPO) is extensively researched and highly recognised as one of the most effective forms of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) amongst the teaching profession worldwide. It encourages an environment of collaboration and collegiality amongst teachers. It is a developmental activity in which teachers offer mutual support by observing each other teach while explaining and discussing what was observed. There is a sharing of ideas about teaching while professional conversations about teaching and learning flourish. There may also be a gathering of student feedback on teaching effectiveness which leads to reflective practice. New ideas are brought back into the classroom once witnessed and the barriers preventing observation or isolation felt by teachers are diminished. There are no negative outcomes to TPO but its often a difficult concept to introduce into Irish Post Primary Schools. I am going to discuss two methods of how I have implemented TPO into schools and what I have learned from the process. It’s important to note that every school is different and leaders in this field need to reflect on what works for their school and tailor a plan accordingly.