Case Title: 1. Rethinking Grading Part 1

Element Title: Perceptions of Peer Observation ( of 16)


I never understood the power of peer observation until living and breathing it last year. Our collaboration was different than many peer observations, but it highlights the possibilities. No one talked about peer observation when I entered the profession; now it is a normal part of how we do business. The closed classroom door is an idea of the past. Instead, we must promote a practice of open doors and meaningful reflection with those who know our work best, our peers.” 

Kip Hottmanis a Spanish teacher for the World Language Department at Fern Creek High School (Jefferson County) and was a state fellow for the Hope Street Group from 2013 to 2015. Gail Sowell is the literacy coach at Oldham County High School, and she partnered with Hottman as a peer in his classroom last school year. While this experience exceeded the minimal requirements of peer observation as defined through PGES, Sowell and Hottman were both convinced of the power of the experience to facilitate teacher growth. 


Each of the peer observations stirred my passion for teaching and opened my eyes to different strategies for the classroom. The trust and partnerships built through my district’s opportunities for peer observation have already helped me grow as a teacher, and I am confident that as I continue to observe other teachers in their element and learn more and more of what works, I will continue to become more effective as a professional.”

Joseph Harris teaches English and AP Language at Lawrence County High School in Louisa. He also serves as the English Professional Learning Communities Team Lead for grades 9-12 and as a Teacher Leader on both the School Instructional Leadership Team and District Instructional Leadership Team/Improvement Planning Committee. He is also a Hope Street Group Teacher Fellow.