I have the report back from the class observation. It is a very brief report that I found more interesting in reading what the observer thought was important to note, rather than as anything really useful. There was very little opinion expressed. I was really worried about that, because often admin think of lecture-format classes as "old fashioned" and prefer more Mickey-Mouse approaches (where kids get up and do a lot of singing and dancing and playing with computers, often giving them facts in fun formats, but not really encouraging skills for critical thought, communication, writing, or making connections between facts and events). And when push comes to shove, these are intro classes, and I do them lecture-style. Not droning, one-way lecturing, but I share a lot of information really fast.
Some things I thought interesting to be important? They noted I responded quickly to the request to be observed. Um... what, you think I would wait weeks to respond to my boss? Are people that stupid? Also, they noted I "fulfill the requirement to turn in syllabi." Yeah, one time I mistakenly emailed my syllabus to the wrong address (the secretary had turned over, oops) and I got CHEWED. OUT. I seriously had no buttocks for weeks. Do people really not send in syllabi? Where are their buttocks???
They also noted that I was in control of the classroom, because the students were respectful. That was really interesting to me. I consider that really more about the students (especially the ones who showed up) than about me. It also was a striking contrast to the issues I've had with my online kids. My mom always says I have "presence." Maybe I really ought to implement that "one live meeting" and whip those online folks into shape. See if I can reduce rude email.
Another interesting note? That I could work the slide projector. Um... I'm an art historian. I'd better be able to work the projector. This implies to me that there was somebody who was trying to use the projector and couldn't work it. Yikers.
Otherwise, mostly just facts. I arrive on time, I set up the room before class starts, I ask and answer questions, etc. Oh, I was surprised how long they must have been in the room before I noticed them. The notes they made about what I did before class included a lot of stuff I had no idea they had seen. Need to be more aware of my surroundings. Seriously.