Day-to-day, I hear and see wonderful things going on around the school. Also, learning walks offer an insight into practice. But, a lesson observation, seeing the entire lesson, gives a special insight. As a senior leader, it's a privilege to be able to go into colleagues' lessons and observe them and the children in that class at work.
Now, I'm observing colleagues, whom I work with and know are excellent teachers. I want their lesson to be a success. I want to see their best practice. I want to be able to give loads of good feedback. So, before the observation, I get a little nervous: for them! I don't want it all to go wrong. I don't want to have to come back. I want to be able to give loads of praise and a couple of pointers for how something could have been better. Also, I want to do my best to not get in their way, or the children's. I don't want to write too much, or too little. What if I frown at the wrong moment, smile too much or look away at a vital moment? It's a minefield! There's a possibility I'd rather be observed and observe (maybe).
In my experience, they've gone well. I've seen wonderful lessons, by excellent teachers and pupils who want to learn. I've been able to alter my own practices as a result, feedback to others about what they can learn from colleagues and get those observed to tell others about what they've been up to.
It really is a privilege to come and observe another teacher teach. To see them at work, to learn from them and provide feedback. Remember, if you're a teacher, if I come to observe you, I'm (oddly) about as nervous as you are...