As a relatively new teacher, I am still required to receive formal observations twice a year. These observations are completed by my assistant principal. Prior to the lesson, I must submit a lesson plan a long with all the materials I plan to use during the lesson. I have to state what we are doing, why we are doing it and how it connects to the lessons before and after it.
Some teachers dislike formal observations, or any observations period. I'm going to just come out and say that I am not one of those teachers. Sometimes it is stressful right before you know an administrator is coming in or when they have an informal walk through and you realize that little Johnny's out of dress code and you didn't catch it before they came in the room. However, overall, the observations, both informal and formal, are necessary.
Without an active administration to keep you accountable, it's easy to fall into lazy teaching and not even realize it. Whenever I have an observation, I always try to think of a fun, new lesson so that whoever is being subjected to my class isn't bored with yet another district lesson plan. I always get my best lesson ideas when I find out an administrator is coming in my room. My kids benefit from that with a fun, new lesson plan, my lesson plan repertoire grows and the administration gets a peek into my room. Everyone wins!
If administrators don't make frequent trips into a classroom, and by frequent, I mean once a unit, It's easy for teachers to forget how something looks to outsiders. It's easy to think you are doing the best you can, when an outside observer can give you just a few more pointers.
One of the major advantages of my school is the frequent observations by a variety of administrators. Obviously, I see my assistant principal the most, but all the assistant principals have popped into my room from time to time, as well as the principal. Our active and dedicated administrations is one of the reasons I love my school. Should the audit come through and steal any one of my administrators, I don't know what I'll do. I know I'd miss them and the school would seriously not be the same place without their presence.