The purpose of Peer Observation is for Other Professionals to receive formative feedback from a peer to help improve their practice. The Peer Observation is only shared between the Other Professional and the peer and is an opportunity for teachers to engage in collegial conversations concerning pedagogical practice.
Other Professionals should guide the observation process. Empowering other professionals to share with peers their expectations from this partnership will allow peers to more effectively tailor their feedback.
A peer observer will not necessarily observe all four domains during the Peer Observation/Site Visit. As peer observation is for professional feedback only, no score is given, the teacher may guide the peer observer to 'look for' specific areas. Since only one peer observation is required, a peer observer very well may not see all four domains or even each component in one domain.
704 KAR 3:370 requres every teacher to have one Peer Observation during his or her summative cycle; this is a minimum requirement and should not dictate the frequency of peer-teacher contact. In the Overview of State Teacher Fellows Program in Kentucky
, the Hope Street Group's finding was that teachers believed that peers should observe a teacher 2-3 times a year (page 6).
Peer Observer Certification
Professional Learning for Peer Observers is available to all educators. Developed in partnership with Kentucky Educational Televison (KET) this self-paced module certifies teachers as PGES peer observers and prepares them for successful Peer Observations with teachers.
Users register for this learning module using this instruction sheet.
Districts and schools have the flexibility to determine how best to manage this learning. Some districts may wish to manage this in CIITS; it is a district's choice.
Certification for Peer Observers last three (3) years. It is best practice to engage in yearly learning that enhances Peer Observers' skills. Peer Observers have access to many resources so it is important to access vetted, quality resources: KDE's website, district developed supplemental learning, and Edivation's Kentucky Peer Observer's Group.
Peer Observation and OPGES Pilot
A peer observer does not need to be in the same content area as the observee. For example, a classroom teacher may be the peer observer for an other professional such as a librarian or counselor.
A pre-observation conference is an important part of the Peer Observation process for Other Professionals. Other Professionals should make sure their peer observer has a clear understanding of the specifics of the Other Professional's Specialist Framework.