Classroom Observation Tips

If possible, ask to observe the classroom before your workshop or residency and use these tips to guide your observation.

Classroom Observation Tips
  • Planning
  • Classroom Partners

Classroom Observation Tips

Observation Tips

Introduce Yourself

  • If given an opportunity, share your name, your pronouns, your art form,  and what you’re excited about in connection to your residency or program.
  • If there’s an appropriate moment, individually introduce yourself to all of the adults in the room. If it is your first time meeting them, be sure to share your goals, and how they can help you out during your residency, and hand them some information about the residency and/or yourself.

Observe the Room


  • How is it arranged?
  • Is there a working SMART Board or Promethean Board?
  • What will you need to adapt, move, or plan for?
  • Is there a chill-out corner?
  • Are there specific kinds of furniture accommodations in place?
  • Check out GIVE Resource: Teaching Materials and Tools.

What is posted on the walls?

  • Behavior or management systems.
  • What the class is studying.
  • Class roles and responsibilities.

What is on students’ desks?

  • Personal behavior intervention systems (PBIS).
  • Student roles and responsibilities.

Observe the Classroom Professionals

  • What is the dynamic between the Educators?
  • What are their co-teaching structures or strategies?
  • What are the Paraprofessionals doing?

Observe the students

  • How do they interact?
  • Are they working in small groups? Independently? As a large group?
  • What is the general atmosphere in the classroom?


As a Teaching Artist, you will continue to observe students throughout your time in the classroom. Remember to keep your assumptions in check (GIVE Resource: Creating Stigma-Free Classrooms). Remember: We don’t know what we don’t know!