Beat Those Observation Nerves

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Hanna Beech

Hanna Beech has been teaching for ten years and has a range of experience across Key Stages 1 and 2 in a large Primary School in Kent. She is a phase leader for Years 3 and 4, and also leads on teaching and learning for...
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How can we feel more in control when being observed?

A lesson observation can sometimes feel like you’re under scrutiny and I am yet to meet anyone who enjoys feeling under scrutiny! But being observed doesn’t have to feel this way.

Observation Tactics

  • Don’t make big changes to your classroom environment, teaching methods or content to suit an observation.
  • Remind yourself that observations can help you improve your practice. There is no bad feedback. There is only feedback.
  • What’s your worst fear? Now imagine that happens (bare with me…) Now ask yourself ‘Will that really happen?’ and ‘Even if the worst did happen, then what happens?’ Abolish fears by thinking about what the outcome of the worst happening even is. Often it will only be that you get feedback which reflects that something should change.
  • Don’t give yourself time to over-think the observation. Look after your wellbeing being mindful, exercising or socialising with friends.
  • Enjoy it. It sounds strange if you feel nervous, but use your adrenaline to ‘show off’ what you do everyday.

Why is it a good strategy?

Remember lesson observations are necessary, so feeling open and ready helps you to show what you can do well and develop as a teacher.


Talk to someone about feeling nervous. Being open and honest with a colleague will often lead to someone supporting and relating to you. 

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