Read my peer notes from observing a discussion class with a guest lecturer (here).
As part of the Preparing the Professoriate Program I observed the classroom of a peer in the program and had someone observe my class as well. It was really valuable to observe another classroom that was beyond my mentor's. I was able to witness not only how another instructor organizes and leads a classroom, but how students respond to that set up. I was able to see what was effective for engaging students and identify the parts of class that left students fidgety. Receiving that feedback was valuable as well. My peer identified that I can work on clearly stating the class goals at the beginning of each session and introducing the lesson in an interesting way. She also thought that I could use multiple types of reading materials in my reading assignments, not just peer review.
I think I can work on incorporating both suggestions in class. The first echos statements from my mentor, that I need to work on clarity with student assignments and be sure to include learning outcomes not only in my lesson plans, but communicate them to students. The second suggestion identifies a pattern that I got stuck in during the course; I had the intention of having broader reading sources, but got stuck in peer reviewed papers. I think I still found comfort in the legitimacy of peer-reviewed sources, but a departure from constant peer-review could have made discussions more dynamic. I did incorporate news articles in reflection assignments, but doing so in the original reading assignment brings depth to discussions.