Student feedback: observing the teacher

Published: 04 Sep 2017
Evaluation indicators
Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua


“They’re going to tell you what they are seeing from a student perspective. They’re going to be honest about what you think you are doing is actually what you are doing.”

At Otumoetai Intermediate School, Student Learning Leaders learn how to undertake structured classroom observations focused on teaching and learning. The students and staff discuss the process and its impact.

Key messages:

  • Students receive training in carrying out a structured observation
  • They elicit responses to classroom practices from other students
  • ‘Findings’ are shared with the teacher
  • Students appreciate that their teachers are open to learning and improving  their practice and develop their own understanding of learning processes

Things to think about:

  • Do your students have a real influence on the quality of education provision in your school?
  • How might you better support them to do that?

The evaluation indicators this video illustrates

  • Domain 2: Leadership for equity and excellence
    • Evaluation Indicators
      • Leadership builds relational trust and effective collaboration at every level of the school community
      • Leadership ensures effective planning, coordination and evaluation of the school’s curriculum and teaching

This video is part of a series

This video is part of the series Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua. We created this series to inspire schools with examples of success in action. These examples highlight the benefits of fulfilling the evaluation indicators we use to review schools.

The full video series can be found here.

Remote video URL

The learning leaders, they're going to tell you what they're seeing from a student perspective. They're going to be honest with whether what you think you're doing is actually what you're doing.


It's not threatening. They haven't got any agenda. They're coming in to report back on what they see. So I think it's great to have their perspective because the kids are going to have the most canny observations, I'd say. They're going to tell you exactly what they've seen.


It's basically about how the students are working with the teacher, how the teacher responds to what the students are saying and commenting, and significantly shaping the lesson from what the students have to say.


They've been fantastic in terms of the feedback that they've given. And by allowing the students to come in and make those observations, there are things that we haven't necessarily thought of that are important to the students that they're identifying.


We have lessons with Mrs. Hutchinson. So we mainly learn how we improve our reports. So the teacher gets more than just the normal, basic things.


Can you please tell me about your learning?


The structure's really good. And it's not then about a personality of a teacher because they don't have that relationship with that teacher. But they're looking really specifically at things that might be affirmations. Or it might be the questioning or something like that. And I think that really helps them in writing their reports as well.


This morning I was talking to my students about some feedback that the learning leaders gave me. And I said to them, you know, guys, this is something that they suggested. We've never thought of it. And they went: Wow. Let's try and incorporate that into our classroom programme. And it's just little things like that that they can actually see they're getting something out of the observations as well.


I think it's great that all teachers in our school, they know that they don't know everything. And they're willing to take a student's feedback and really put it into their classroom. And they're constantly trying to improve for us so that we can have the best experience possible.