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2-week observation before PGCE interview

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by Lauriecs, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I am applying for PGCE programmes to start my career as a teacher. I did the compulsory two-week observation in a secondary school before my first interview for a PGCE in MFL. I was not successful, and as feedback the PGCE tutors told me that I hadn't been able to provide enough specific details about this period of observation. They urged me to observe another school for two weeks and reapply. So I did, and now I am waiting for the interview I have been invited to at another university. However, I am still not sure about what is expected. What kind of comments/analysis do PGCE tutors expect? What should I have focused on? What kind of questions do they ask?
    Also, can I be asked about differentiation, T&G-related issues, and all these notions that I have never studied (read them on this website), at this point in stage?
    Thank you so much for your help, I'm hoping I won't fail the next interview because of that again.
    Cheers,
    Laurie
     
  2. Hi all,
    I am applying for PGCE programmes to start my career as a teacher. I did the compulsory two-week observation in a secondary school before my first interview for a PGCE in MFL. I was not successful, and as feedback the PGCE tutors told me that I hadn't been able to provide enough specific details about this period of observation. They urged me to observe another school for two weeks and reapply. So I did, and now I am waiting for the interview I have been invited to at another university. However, I am still not sure about what is expected. What kind of comments/analysis do PGCE tutors expect? What should I have focused on? What kind of questions do they ask?
    Also, can I be asked about differentiation, T&G-related issues, and all these notions that I have never studied (read them on this website), at this point in stage?
    Thank you so much for your help, I'm hoping I won't fail the next interview because of that again.
    Cheers,
    Laurie
     
  3. I have no idea what they would've been expecting, but... can you talk about behaviour issues you noticed, any overriding issues in the school, how they tackle gender differences in the classroom, how they try to engage students, etc?
     
  4. I did tackle these questions, but there was very little material in the end because everything went so smoothly in both schools. I noticed only one incident with regards to discipline, and the children were all very enthousiastic about the MFL classes. Anything else?
     
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Subject specific lessons observed:
    Reflect on how much target language was used in the classrooms. Were greetings, taking of register and basic instructions given in French/Spanish/German?
    How much overt grammar was used in lessons?
    Was there a good mix of speaking, listening, reading comprehension and writing work over a week's MFL lessons?
    Did you sense that pupils understood what they were saying or writing or were they simply memorising text and doing a 'cut and paste' with given phrases when writing paragraphs?
    Did the teachers drop in cultural information about the foreign country?
    Generally:
    How did the teachers manage low level disruption (chatting, lack of concentration, not downing tools and listening when told to)?
    Were rooms organised so that pupils could start work almost immediately with a starter activity on board or on desks?
    How much ICT was there in lessons?
    Was work differentiated by outcome (all children doing the same task) or were different levels of tasks planned to cater for the ability range in the room? At GCSE, for instance, some subjects use parralel textbooks at Higher and Foundation level where the text covers the same topic (on the same page numbers) but the complexity of language and the demands of the activities vary.
    Did you notice a difference in behaviour and concentration levels after break or lunch? Some pupils who eat healthily will get a concentration boost after a break; others wiill go loopy after downing rubbish. If pupils have been out at break on windy or rainy days,it can impact on behaviour in the next lesson.
    How safe was it to be on corridor or stairs at lesson changeover times?
    Did you notice a difference in the way that classes responded to male or female teachers, or to older or younger teachers?
    Did you come across teachers or pupils referring to VAK theory (Learning Styles) or Brain Gym, both of which are concepts that I deride but which many in education are in thrall to!

    Good luck witht he interview. MFL places have been cut back since 2004 when MFL was no longer compulsory to age 16. That should change soon witht he introduction of the English Bac. My MFL supply work is picking up at last and I'm being told by MFL deepartments that they are likely to be taking on more staff and making it a priority to get an MFL specialist to cover for absent colleagues.

     
  6. As the lessons went so smoothly wasn't there anything that you could comment on in terms of how and why it went so well? What behaviour managment techniques used to get everyone listening.Low level disruption.
     
  7. Jessaki

    Jessaki Occasional commenter

    I would make a protfolio, if you haven't already done so. I used to work for the Student Associates Scheme and all our students were given booklets to fill, where they made notes on specific topics in each lesson they observed, for example; behaviour management, starter, plenaries, lesson sequence & structure, teacher interaction with pupils etc... This booklet was then something they could take to a PGCE interview and use as evidence of their time in school.
    When I came to apply for a PGCE myself, I made sure to make a booklet of my own, even though I'd only been into school for 4 days of observation. My portfolio was pretty heafty though, 4 days x 5 lessons was plenty. I just jotted all this down while I was in class and then typed it up when I'd finished. I think it really helped though. On my interview day I was the only who had brought a portfolio of lesson observations with them and they took it to read through after my interview and gave it back to me at the end of the day.
    A portfolio like this will demonstrate that you are starting to think along the right lines. Also, if there are things perhaps you didn't a mention in the interview or you felt you didn't bring certain points across well enough, the portfolio will allow them to see those things that you missed.
    If you want I can send you the template I used.
    Good luck!
     
  8. Hi Jessaki,

    I was looking through this forum for advice on what to include in a portfolio for interview and came across your post. Would it be possible to see the template you used for your portfolio please? I have an interview at the IOE and very nervous about it and want to demonstrate as much as I can give them as possible.
    Many thanks!
     
  9. Thank you all for these great tips. I did take plenty of notes during the lessons I observed, but wasn't sure how to exploit them. Jubilee, the examples of questions you gave will definitely give me somewhere to start.
    Jessaki, it would be great to have a look at your template. I'm curious to see how you put it all together. I was afraid that if I created a portfolio based on my daily notes it would all look very dull and repetitive. Did you write it day by day, with a general summary at the end?
    Thank you all, I'm sure all this will help. If you can add more, please feel free!

     
  10. bobbycatrules

    bobbycatrules New commenter

    Wow, it sounds really difficult to get onto a ITT course nowadays. I was an instructor for several years before doing teacher training and I wouldn't have been able to answer questions about differentiation before training. You learn these things on your ITT course.
     
  11. Can they ask me about all that at this stage?
     
  12. Hi Jessaki
    Ive got my PGCE interview next week.
    I have created a portfolio but the thing i am struggling with is consolidating my existing obsevation notes into something managable and eas-to-read. I was in a school for more than 2 months and so the notes ive made will show a gradual change. It would seem pointless to type it all up and i only want to show some of the significant points during my stay.
    I would be grateful if you could send me your template.

    Many Thanks Vong
     
  13. Hi

    I am in the same situation about a PGCE mfl Interview coming up shortly and am struggling to find a decent format in which to layout my notes from my two observation periods- and am stressing about what I am going to get asked about what I observed in the classroom!

    Jessaki- could I ask you to be so kind as to send me your template from your observation period (sakers82@hotmail.com) which would be a great help
    Lauriecs- How did your second interview go and where was it at? Did you get asked about your observation period at all?

    Immense thanks for this

    sakers
     
  14. Hi Jessika,
    I was looking through this forum for advice on what to include in a portfolio for interview and came across your post. Would it be possible to see the template you used for your portfolio please?It would be great help for me.


    Thanks,
    Mou
     
  15. Hi Jessika,
    Your ideas on class observations are a real "gift" to those of us about to embark on a career in teaching. Would it be possible for me to have a copy of these key questions so that I could begin may portfolio.
    Many thanks, Breda
     
  16. Hi Jessaki,

    I too am embarking on my PGCE this September (if i get accepted) and i think your idea is great, im hearing that it is not that easy to get on these courses, so am a little worried, i would be greatful if you could also send me your template as it would be a great help. or anyone else who might have something that might help to email: aminalamnouoir@gmail.com.

    Many Thanks

    Mina
     
  17. Hi Jessaki,

    I would be grateful to use your template if you are not too annoyed at offering it! Many thanks F_Silverton@yahoo.co.uk
     

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