Peer Observers

About the Program:

The goal of the Peer Observation Program (POP) is to provide an opportunity for faculty peers to hold reflective conversations about teaching, to pursue the values of the Seattle Community College District, and to ensure its vision. The POP protocol establishes specific conditions and prescribed roles to ensure that conversations among colleagues occur in respectful, inclusive and democratic ways.

Peer Observation Trainings! (for peer observers only – you know who you are!)
Monday, October 19, 12:00-1:30, Olympic Hall 206 -- South
Tuesday, October 20, 1:00-2:30, Room 119 -- Siegal Center
Wednesday, October 21, 12:30-2:00, ED 2834A -- North
Tuesday, October 27, 3:00-4:30, IB3422 -- North
Wednesday, October 28, 2:00-3:30, Room 119 -- Siegal Center
Thursday, October 29, 2:30-4:00, Olympic Hall 206 – South
Friday, November 20, 3:00-4:30, Room 119 -- Siegal Center

Campus Peer Observer Leads: If you need more information about the program, please contact your campus lead and/or review the information on this web page.

— North: Betty Williams     206.934.4571

— South: Analea Brauburger       206.934.5136

— Central/SVI: Jaime Cardenas     206.934.4348

View / Download: Peer Observers Program Guidelines

View: Contract Language in the Agreement (Articles 6.7 and A.6.)

View: Memorandum of Understanding on payment of stipends.

View: Peer Observers Program Training PowerPoint

Peer Observers Questions and Answers: 

Q:  What is a peer observer?
A:  Peer Observers receive a $500 stipend per year for observing up to 5 other faculty members teach. Both peer observer and teacher to be observed participate in the process; it is not administratively evaluative and the observation notes stay between the two parties.

Q:  Who can be a peer observer?
A:  Full time and priority hire faculty are eligible to be peer observers. 

Q:  How do I become a peer observer?
A:  At the end of each Winter quarter, the district office will send out to each campus their allotted number of peer observers.  There is a total of 125, of whom up to 50 can be priority hire part time faculty.  During Spring quarter, the Vice President of Instruction and the Faculty Senate President meet to determine the distribution of peer observers to each division. Unit administrators notify faculty of the opportunity and give 30 days for faculty to indicate interest.  Faculty in the division select the observers before the end of Spring quarter.  

Q:  What am I required to do as a peer observer?
A:  Once you have been selected, you are required to attend the training, usually in October.  After the training, and throughout the year, you will observe up to five other faculty.  This will vary by program, number of faculty, comprehensiveness of the evaluation, etc. but the intent was to try to complete three to five observations in the year.  

All Peer Observers must attend ONE of the yearly training sessions.  Peer Observers can attend training at any campus.  

  • Returning Peer Observers are only required to attend the last hour of training. 
  • New Peer Observers must attend a complete training session.  

Q:  If it is $500 for up to five observations, does that mean I will receive $100 per observation?
A:  No, the stipend is a fixed amount for up to five observations. 

Q:  Who picks the people to be observed?
A:  You can choose who you observe, though often the Peer Observer Lead on your campus will help facilitate the couplings. Your Dean or Director may have a list of people who would like to be observed, as well, though remember that these observations are not to be given or reported on to the Deans.     

Q:  When will I be paid and how?
A:  At the training, you’ll receive certification of attendance.  Turn that into your Unit Administrator who will generate an Employment Notification Service Record Change (ENSRC) form.  You should see a line on your paystub that says “Stipend” and the amount of $300.  The Agreement says you will be paid by the end of Fall quarter (if your documents are submitted by December 1st). The final $200 will be paid at the end of Spring quarter if you have observed one or more (up to five) times.  The AFT Seattle believes we should abide by the Agreement. 

Q:  If I was a peer observer last year, can I be one again?

A:  Certainly – each term of a peer observer is one year, but we don’t have limits on the number of terms!  And training is required each year you are a peer observer.

Q:  What is the benefit?
A:  The peer observer guidelines were developed with a clear intent – to improve teaching through faculty to faculty support.  The process is unique; it is in many ways a new paradigm – one that assumes competence, a desire to improve, and the value of peer support.  Plus, it is a little extra money.