Whilst we always recognized the value of how teacher observations build teacher capacity, for the longest time we were doing it as a practice in which the onus for teacher development was more on the observer.


Try the empathy lens:

Request a team member to come and observe your class. Ask her to record specific data on the number of times you walk around the class.

Ask yourself what gives you a better insight - somebody telling you that you moved in the classroom vs somebody giving you data on the number of times you moved.

How did you feel during the observation and while receiving the post observation feedback? Did this experience help you to understand the value of data for refining your practice?


  • Over the years, we had established the value of observations as an important part of our pedagogical practice and professional development.

  • Though there was a conscious time-tabling of observations, we realized as a collective that we waited until the observer came to our class. At that time, it was not a common practice that we would seek an opportunity to be observed.

  • Because the observations were erratic, there was not enough and specific data to help us gather information and analyze school-wide patterns in the pedagogical practice.

  • Often, we also notice that some teachers felt conscious/ worried about their observations and this can, if not addressed, create an environment of anxiety and result in resistance to being observed.

Whilst we continued with the practice of teacher observation, we created the new observation format to add the layer that ‘our professional growth was our personal responsibility as well.’



there was an Observation protocol where teachers could take responsibility and accountability for the growth and development of self and others?



A process called Teacher Driven Observations wherein:

  • An online interface provides the structure for recording and sharing observation data

  • Teachers decided, which aspect of their practice they want to improve and chose their data collector as well

  • Before the observation, both the teacher and data collector meet to refine the focus question and schedule the observation

  • Post the observation the data collector shares the data with the teacher, focusing only on those areas for which he/she was requested to collect data

  • After a couple of weeks, the data collector follows up with a cold call to observe and confirm the desired shift in the practice of the teacher.

The fallout of this process is the shift from observation being a responsibility of the observer, to the teachers taking responsibility to be observed and therefore, becoming more accountable for improving their own practice.It has also helped in analyzing the trends and patterns of pedagogical practice across the school.



This video helps make visible the process of Teacher Driven Observations from ‘intention’ to ‘action’.


The video above will show you what happens before the observation, how the observation is conducted, and the post-observation discussion. You will also see an example of how the data is used to collect school-wide insights.

  • 5:35

    Pre - observation video:

    Observe the way in which edu-heroes share focus questions and set expectations for data collection.

  • 6:16

    Post - observation video:

    Notice how the edu-heroes share insights and data and collectively come up with strategies.

  • 5:03

    What not to do video:

    Focus on the different challenges that edu-heroes can experience during feedback and understand how to deal with these.


In this section, Riverside edu-heroes share strategies and insights from their experience of the process and how the process has impacted their practice.

  • 4:09

    FAQ Video

    Watch Fozia share tips and guidelines for planning and conducting Teacher Driven Observations.

  • 4:09

    Impact Video

    Watch Fozia share the impact that being observed by a data collector has had on her practice.


  • As a leader, ask team members to come and observe your practice. Respect the feedback that you receive from them. This will build authenticity and acceptability for the process.

  • For the new teachers, start by asking them to be the data collectors for their peers rather than being observed themselves. This will help build an understanding of the process as well as be at ease when being observed.

  • Choose a collective focus question with your team for analyzing across the school or Key Stage.This will help in enhancing the pedagogy and the teaching practice of the entire team.

  • Once a month, share the trends that are emerging about practice with your team.