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When observing student behavior, what are some things educators should think about or consider before, during, and after observing a student?

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Dayna Watsica eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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If you are observing a student, it would be good to get a sense of the student. Look at his or her academic performance and written evaluations. If you have the ability you should also look at his or her test scores. It would also be good to get the opinion of past teachers and others who have had interaction with the student in view.

When you are observing the student, you should try to form an independent opinion. Do not allow what has been stated by others to give you a conclusion. This is an important point. Also write down your observations. Look for things like, body language, habits, and attention span. Also see how the student responds to people around him or her. Also keep a note of how he or she interacts with what the teacher is doing. In other words, does the student respond to visual learn or auditory learning better?

Finally, after the observation, you might want to note the following. First, what the student's response after the class? Is he or she happy, relieved, or something else? Also you might want to think of ways in which to enhance the student's learning. Good observations should have an action plan.

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M.P. Ossa, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Basing this answer on the current trend of Differentiated Instruction as a way to help students succeed, these are the things that should be taken into consideration before, during, and after an observation of student behavior:

Before

Look for the student records. Do they show any special consideration? Most importantly, was that consideration met in a timely manner? What is the child's background? What number child does he or she make in the family (first born, middle child, youngest, twin?) Has any behavior changed recently? Are there observable behaviors that denote a significant change in the student's daily routine?

Check for student interests inventories (which the student has...

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