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20 minute observations!

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by br0wnsugar, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    At interview...can anyone advise the best way to approach this?

    I was thinking a 3-5 min starter/Do Now,10 mins Main then a 3-5 min plenary. Best topic a short extract/poem/video clip then engaging in descriptive writing?

    What would be the best topic to teach (obviously, if the school stipulate a topic then not much help but it's worth asking).

    To me it seems short and not enough time to show progress, pupil interest/engagement - maybe I am wrong.

    Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
  2. midnight_angel

    midnight_angel Senior commenter

    Somebody else will be along shortly about the policy here for handing out specific advice for interview lessons. However, I just wanted to point out that progress CAN be shown in 20 minutes, and your observer will be expecting to see it within the 20 minutes. Remember, most Ofsted observations usually only last around the 15-20 minute mark, and we all show progress then, right?

    It also gives you a lovely conversation topic for the interview part - "Well, these are the sort of things I would have continued to do, if I had had a full lesson ..."
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Nice post, @midnight_angel , thank you for being helpful.

    Well done @julianamrose - you've impressed them already!

    ;) That's me, folks!

    Yes, the policy on here is NOT to give any answers to interview questions, nor any suggestions for observed lessons. Not because we are mean and unkind, but because it just isn't wise.

    If we gave you ideas, another candidate might see them, and do the very same thing! Don't think it would never happen - one Head once had 4 - FOUR! - candidates do a lesson which had been suggested on the Primary Forum in response to a request for suggestions for an interview lesson. She recognised it. Wouldn't matter if she hadn't, because the four of them doing the same thing sort of gave things away. :)

    And best not to use something from the TES Resources either, for your interview. Another True Story: a Deputy Head asked a candidate to explain the rationale behind the materials and lesson used, and enquired specifically how they had been devised. She wasn't too impressed by the floundering answer. No wonder: the lesson and materials had been devised entirely by the Deputy Head herself, and posted on TES Resources! :):)

    So the sensible rule is: nothing from the internet for an interview. The Head wants to see how YOU can plan and deliver a lesson, even though you may well use other materials on a day-t-day basis. they want to see what you can manage on your own. I'm sure that you can really, you are just suffering from nerves!

    Instead of thinking first of the learning activities, you really need to think Objectives? In other words, what do you want them to learn? That must be the starting point.

    Start by thinking of a really good lesson that you have given in the past. What was it that made it so successful? Bear that in mind.

    Then think of the objectives of your observed lesson. You will need the right objectives for this age group, but make sure that you have high expectations, yet are prepared to be flexible if you have got the level wrong. How will you (a) achieve these objectives and (b) show that they have been achieved? Progress is important, so show it. Then look back at your best class - is there anything there that could help achieve the objectives.

    Then work on from that . . . including one or two lines at the end of how you would develop this work in follow-up lessons, perhaps.

    Below you have (I hope!) Links to the newly-transferred advice articles from old-TES. Some of them are not relevant to you, but I am including them all for the benefit of other posters.

    Help, I've got an interview! *** The basic advice ***

    Teaching an observed lesson at interview

    Using mind-mapping for interviews *** The best-loved advice ***

    Tell us about yourself - dream or nightmare question?

    Daft Interview Questions

    What shall I wear to the interview?

    Interviews – making a positive first impression

    How do you decide who to appoint?

    What excuse can I give for going to interview?

    Child Protection: the questions, NOT the answers

    A typical Child Protection Policy

    Two interviews and a dilemma

    Interview feedback - they blamed my experience, but they knew that when they shortlisted me!

    SLT interviews - possible questions

    In-tray exercises. Deputy Head

    Assistant Head interviews

    General interview questions

    Questions to ask at the end of your interview

    On Old-TES we had a very nice tradition that when you actually got a job, you started a brand-new thread (not adding it to this one - a brand-new thread) where you told us your good news. You call it Dear Theo - I got that job! and this gives everyone a chance to congratulate you. It also gives them hope and inspiration for their own jobseeking, to see you successful.

    If you see one of these threads, make sure you congratulate people!

    So I will end by saying that we look forward to seeing your Dear Theo - I got that job!

    Best wishes

  4. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    Sorry I hadn't realised that other people could 'take' the advice as their own - Thank you TheoGriff and MidnightAngel. I'll look at previous lesson plans and assess success and keep these close for impending interviews.
    midnight_angel likes this.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Best of luck with it!

    Get ready for that new post about getting the job.

  6. scattykatty

    scattykatty New commenter

    Good luck - I did this recently and chose a topic that arose quite naturally out of a persistent problem many children were having on a day's supply the week before, and it was something I felt any class could do reminding with - one of those 'useful tip' type Learning Objectives which I did a quick assess of on whiteboards, had differentiated challenge sheets ready etc... I even shared where the motivation came from as the quick intro to the lesson. I guess I was personalising the learning as far as possible, given I didn't know the kids ;) Went 1 or 2 minutes over with the plenary but the team observing were impressed. Your lesson timing seems bang on!

    @TheoGriff I'm presuming that this kind of advice is vague enough ?
  7. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    Thank you 'Scattykatty' as that was my dilemma; not knowing the kids and trying to pitch a topic or lesson that could show sufficient progress within 20 mins but there is always the dilemma of the school choosing the topic to teach but all the same, a very useful piece of 'vague' advice. :D
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

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