The Parent Council is often asked to provide Parent Observers to assist in staff interviews, the role usually includes:
The parent observer will sit in a classroom watching the candidate teach a class and taking notes on various aspects of the lesson. There is a checklist of what to look for. The class is normally an S1 or S2 class. Often we have two classroom observations running at the same time so the parent will swap with the other observer half way through the lesson so they can observe both candidates. There is a feedback meeting at the end of the interview process.
The parent observer will sit on the interview panel, asking questions and taking notes, normally with the Head Teacher and a Depute/Faculty Head. There will be a sheet of prepared questions, which the Head Teacher will go over with the parent before the interviews commence. There is a feedback meeting at the end of the interview process.
This is a great opportunity for you to play an important part of the life of the school and see what happens in a classroom!
No experience is required. If you’d like to be involved in interviews and are able to commit a half day or in some case a whole day to the process (it’s good to have continuity of the same observer for all applicants), then please contact the Parent Council and you’ll be put on a list of interested parents. When we’re approached by the school office for volunteers, you’ll receive an email seeking your assistance, with dates etc. then it’s first come first served. We hope that this can extend the reach of parental involvement within the school. You don’t need to be a member of the Parent Council to take part in this, but you do need to have a strong desire to play an important part in the ongoing development of the school.
Chair of the Knox Parent Council
Here are comments from other parents who’ve helped out recently:
“When I saw an email asking for parent helper I ignored it. After all I had been out the work place for many years and I thought I would be of no help at all. Another few emails came out and as no one stepped forward I decided to offer my help. I admit I was apprehensive the first time I was involved with an interview. That was about a year ago and I have now been involved with quite a few. The role is fairly informal. You sit in a classroom and observe the interviewee. You are given a sheet of paper with guidelines. As a parent you observe the interview in a different way from a teacher. I really think this helps the interview panel to acquire a better overall impression of the candidate. I also benefitted from the process. I know more of the staff and they in turn know who I am, I have a better understanding of how the school functions and I have an active role in my children’s school. I would highly recommend being involved.” KB
“Being a parent observer was a great experience. It gives both a great insight into classroom learning at the school and ensures that parental views are taken into account during the recruitment process. It’s well worth a morning of your time.” SS