How to Manage an Informal FINAL OBSERVATION
Observation within a Course
Since ITs evaluate Trainees for the Division Supervisor and sign-off the final recommendation for a full Instructor Appointment, the easiest way to conduct a FINAL OBSERVATION is to be invited by the Mentor to an existing NSP Course. In affect, the Mentor already has a course for local candidates where the Trainee is scheduled to teach a minimum of two lessons. The IT’s job is to follow along, conduct the observation and provide feedback for the Trainee.
Feedback is required for both a “passing observation” as well as for providing specific improvements for unsuccessful Trainees. The next section represents a task list for conducting an Informal FINAL OBSERVATION.
Informal Final Observation Requirements
- Mentor Request: When an OET Mentor calls to request a FINAL OBSERVATION, the RA should assign an IT from a different ski area to judge the teaching performance.
- Schedule the Observation: The IT is required to be present to watch the lessons taught by the Trainee.
- Pre-course Meeting: Introduce yourself to the Trainee, set them at ease by explaining what you are there to observe and examine. Review the OET Teaching Philosophy, tell them that your judgments will be based on OET Program expectations. As the IT, you have the right to dictate the two lessons that you expect the Trainee to teach. Even if the Mentor assigned different topics, the IT can overrule and assign a surprise topic. Being an Instructor means that the Trainee must be able to show mastery of all the OET content, not just the content that they prepared.
- Collect the Mentoring Form and Application: Trainees are required to turn over their season-long mentoring form. It should have lots of lessons documented by their Mentor or multiple mentors. The only exceptions are given to educational professionals, such as teachers from other organizations. Allow the Trainee to smartphone scan their paperwork as a backup.
- On-Snow Observation: Let the Trainee teach. Do not interrupt or coach. Ask the Mentor to not add commentary to the Trainee’s lesson. If the Trainee is not ready or does not employ the OET Program teaching methods, take notes, and save your comments for the post-observation meeting.
- Take Notes: It is important for the Trainee to receive written feedback. Use the backside of the Mentoring Form to jot down your notes. This way, if the Trainee is not successful, they can retain your comments and use them for further training.
- Post Observation Meeting: Meet with both the Mentor and the Trainee and tell them the news. Give them feedback regardless of the outcome.
- If Successful: Sign all the forms as Observing IT and scan both documents. It is recommended that you allow the Trainee to use their smartphone to snap a photo of the Mentoring Form and the Application. If the paperwork gets lost, at least the Trainee has proof of the Observation.
- If Unsuccessful: The Post Observation Meeting should be a learning episode for the Trainee (use PISE). Hand back both the Mentoring Form and Application and let them know that you are willing to return after they implement your recommendations.