The observation cycle is designed to promote reflective practice based on the Professional Qualities and Responsibilities (PQR). In the observation cycle, the observer is the facilitator of the teacher's deep and initial analysis of their own teaching.

Click here for exemplar movies of post-observation conferences


*For probationary teachers and continuing contract teachers NOT meeting the PQR, the report becomes part of the
evaluation form to document performance.





The Henrico County Public School’s Pilot Professional Growth and Evaluation Plan for Teachers is shifting the culture of the classroom observation.  Historically, the classroom observation was the supervisor observing a teacher delivering a lesson.  The supervisor evaluated the quality of teaching and wrote an evaluative report.  

The Henrico County model of classroom observation for reflective practice and, ultimately, professional growth, requires the supervisor to assume the role of facilitator of the teacher’s reflection.  This entails taking the teacher’s focus for the observation and providing relevant, objective data to help the teachers make decisions about their teaching. This is a culture shift.  Supervisors must be prepared to give up the role of the expert judging performance, and teachers must take on the responsibility for deep and critical analysis of their own teaching.  

Of course, this is the ideal implementation of the classroom observation as professional growth.   Occasions may arise when the administrator will need to be more directive in helping teachers improve their practice.  This may happen when an immediate need requires the implementation of a specific instructional methodology or strategy, or if an individual teacher’s skill level is not yet sufficiently developed.  Even in these cases, the supervisor’s ultimate goal is to move to a more facilitative role and encourage reflective practice as the teacher’s skills develop. 

Post Observation Protocol:

1. Ask the teacher to summarize his/her impressions of the lesson What are your impressions of the lesson, with regard to your selected PQR(s)?

2. Ask the teacher to recall data to support those impressions In what ways did your students meet or not meet your expectations and learning goals? How do you know?

3. Analyze the observation data together Let’s take a look at the data I collected. What conclusions can we draw? What other data could help us determine the effectiveness of this lesson?

4. Help the teacher synthesize the data and decide on next steps Based on our discussion, what are your next steps? What support do you need from me?

5. Reflect on the process and propose refinements What are your thoughts about this observation cycle? Were there parts of it that were particularly helpful or not helpful?