1) Dismay: you get the email informing you of the observation "nooooo!"
2) Denial: I have weeks to deal with this. *Ignore, ignore, ignore*
3) Fret: gawd, the date is creeping up on me, I really need to start planning something...
4) Panic: OMG I don't know what to teach, why can't I think of anything? *research all the things*
5) Anticipation: OK I've exhausted Pinterest for ideas and I've planned a new lesson I've never tried before. I think it's good, I just really hope it works well...
6) Bravery: taking risks is scary..! What if it goes wrong? I may trial something similar beforehand to see how it goes.
7) Panic 2.0: Must print, photocopy and laminate all the things!
8) Dread: OMG it's observation day, I really don't want to do this...
9) Acceptance: there's no going back now, we're on. These kids better behave today...
10) Relief: oh thank goodness that's over!!! Time for feedback, o-oh... *cue next roller coaster of emotions*
I believe there are 2 types of teachers in this world: ones who play it safe and ones who take risks.
In your every day teaching it is next to impossible to take risks every single lesson and try new things all the time. However, when observation time rolls around it is a great opportunity to try something different and challenge yourself a bit. In my career, the best observations I have ever done are always the ones where I took risks and tried new things - always. I still use all of those lessons and methods I experimented with to this day as part of my teaching arsenal, that I may never had tried if it wasn't for the pressure of an observation.
Now, I realise doing new things on an observation that you are being judged on is very risky as you want to at least know if it will work or not. Well, that's fine, you can still check! Once you've planned your new and exciting observation lesson, you can try out similar techniques before hand to see how it goes and whether it needs tweaking. But the key is using the observation as a tool to you challenge yourself in the first place.
So you see my point is this: you can learn to love observations if you use them as a tool to challenge yourself and take risks in your teaching. Although the idea of being watched and judged on your teaching feels stressful and horrible at first, if you choose to use it as an opportunity to make your teaching better, it can continue bring out the best teacher in you, year after year!
If you're looking for fun ways to jazz up your lessons and don't know where to start, one of my favourite books that I always dive into when I want to spice things up a bit is "Pimp Your Lesson" by Isabella Wallace and Leah Kirkman:
Amazon US: Pimp Your Lesson
Amazon UK: Pimp Your Lesson