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Facilitating the “Observing with a Lens” Discussion

Look For

As you watch this video, look for how the trainer:

  • Actively listens to participants and affirms their comments
  • Uses open-ended prompts when asking participants to comment
  • Summarizes participants’ comments for the whole group
  • Uses the participants’ names
  • Thanks a participant for volunteering an answer
  • Shares her own experiences
  • Laughs and smiles with the group

The trainer also:

  • Is prepared with a variety of examples
  • Surveys the participants to gauge their understanding
  • Connects the lens activity to spotting effective interactions during CLASS observations


Consider the exemplar and training videos in the Observation Training. Are there any moments that participants tend to view with a negative lens? How might you help participants to consider these interactions more objectively, or with an instructional lens?

Read the blog post It’s Not the WHAT but the HOW at a School Cafeteria during Lunchtime for more insight into the CLASS lens.

In the next week, try to catch yourself using a “negative” lens as you observe interactions in your workplace or out in public. Use the CLASS lens to recast your observations more objectively. What else do you notice when observing your everyday life through the CLASS lens? Make notes about the effective behaviors of colleagues and strangers.

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