Contemporary approaches to professional development (PD) involve investigating ways of bottom-up, self-directed practices while addressing various needs of teachers. Yet, utilized as a tool in such practices, classroom observation (CO) is not considered to promote teacher professional learning since it is generally regarded as part of the appraisal process. Thus, this exploratory case study aims to explore the insights of four EFL teachers about CO tailored by teachers themselves for their professional growth in a higher education context in Türkiye. Focusing on a bottom-up practice, the teachers pursued a collaborative act on their PD in this specific context. Based on the participants’ previous and current experiences of CO, the data were collected through semi-structured interviews and teacher educator notes. The inductive thematic analysis of the data revealed three major interconnected themes providing pathways toward CO as a PD tool with special emphasis on the generic features of the teacher-tailored CO process. The discussion of findings highlights the importance of empowering, collaborative, and sustainable practices in teachers’ professional growth. Implications are included for English language teacher development programs.
Classroom observation, EFL teachers, teacher-tailored, professional development