What are Peer to Peer observations
Many early years setting use peer to peer observations as a means of continuous professional development. They are a great tool to evaluate employees performance and identify areas for improvement.
Managers and practitioners take it in turns to observe each other, this can be done at any time of the day and this is valuable o see employees performance at different parts of the day. Peer to Peer observations can be used to identify particular areas of practitioners practice, for instance, their interaction with children. These types of observations can be carried out by more senior practitioners as a way of coaching and supporting team members. However, it is best practice for all practitioners to carry out these observations as it allows them to gain the experience in completing these observations and it also shows that all practitioners are treated equally.
Things to remember when carrying out a Peer to Peer observation
- Discuss beforehand with the person you are observing what will be observed and the focus of the observation
- Observations should last no more than about 15 minutes
- Provide constructive feedback giving examples of areas to work on
- Give feedback in a quiet place
- Talk the observations through with the practitioner and let them identify areas of strength and weakness
- Do not be judgemental when giving feedback
- Peer to Peer observations should be used as a tool to improve practitioners practice
Examples of areas to focus on during an observation
- Interactions with children
- Using appropriate body language
- Using language appropriate for age of child
- Asking open-ended questions
- How practitioners deal with children’s behaviour
- Are language strategies being used
- Impact of teaching and learning
- Level of support given to children
- Giving children choices and developing independence
- Interaction with other team members
An example of a Peer to Peer Observation format.