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30 minute lesson observation for interview

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by goldendrummer11, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. goldendrummer11

    goldendrummer11 New commenter

    I recently went for an interview as secondary maths teacher, where I was asked to teach 'an introduction to the circumference of a circle'. When I got to the school I found out about half an hour before that one of the other candidates had been asked to do the exact same thing to the same class. She wasn't told about it either. She was lucky she had the first half but I had the second. The pupils were made to come out half way through (this happened after a lot later than 30 mins) I had to then go in and get ready whilst they were waiting in line outside. I started to do my intented lesson but it was very flat as pupils looked bored. There were some that said they knew the topic but some that didn't. Needless to say it didn't go well and I didn't get the job. I'm just wondering what the reasoning was behind all this? If it was to compare me and the other candidate then would the pupils have been told to forget everything from first part of lesson? Or was it for me to move the pace along, which is fine but the pupils didn't seem to know the topic. Any advice gratefully received! Long time since I've been for interview
  2. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    I wouldn't assume that there was any reasoning. This sounds like a badly planned interview process to me. If they can't even get that right, you've had a lucky escape!
  3. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    I was once one of 6 candidates for a job where we all had to reach the class the same thing. I went 6th out of 6. Guess what I didn’t get the job ( wouldn’t have accepted it anyway as I’d that was an example of SLT thinking I would not want to work there)
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. goldendrummer11

    goldendrummer11 New commenter

    Thanks. Do you think they expected me to do an hour lesson as a mini lesson i.e. condensed or plan for an hour lesson and stop after 30 mins with the view to discuss later how I would have continued?
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Hard to know what they expected, but I would expect a 30 minute lesson with a clear learning objective and a discussion on where it would fit in overall. Knowing what they'd do before/after also means you adjust the lesson plan on the fly if you need to.

    If you get a situation like that again then, I'd suggest spending a few minutes checking they do know it and if they do change the lesson to either improve their depth or move on to the next relevant thing. Any half decent school can hardly complain you didn't teach what they had asked you to teach if you had shown you knew they already knew it and so would be wasting their students time.
  6. goldendrummer11

    goldendrummer11 New commenter

    Thanks for your reply. Really is hard to know what they were expecting! When I was trying to assess prior knowledge about 5 seemed to have a good grasp but the other 20 didn't, yet they had all been in the classroom with the other candidate! Was more than awkward - really split the class even with differentiation
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. BreakEven

    BreakEven New commenter

    Defo seems quite odd but I suppose only they know that their thinking behind it was. My guess would be that if they got you to teach the same thing then one topic won't be harder to teach than the other so in their eyes is a 'fairer' process. It also may allow them to see how you would both approach that.

    It would make more sense to either split the class or to have different classes but it's not always logistically possible.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It could well just be an admin mistake...someone sent one of you the wrong letter.
    Try not to overthink what the purpose and reasoning was and what you should have done.
    It's just one of those odd things where it all went a bit crazy.

    Better luck next time.
  9. goldendrummer11

    goldendrummer11 New commenter

  10. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    You'd think that that would have shown the last lesson was pretty ineffective! Sounds like only the school knows the reason they employed the other person. I wouldn't overthink it though. Good luck for the next interview.
  11. goldendrummer11

    goldendrummer11 New commenter

  12. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    No point in overthinking. Schools have to choose someone, and they have their criteria.
    The sort of leader that decides that giving a class the same lesson twice is probably not the sort of leader I want to work for.
    I have left interviews feeling that I had the chance to show what I had to offer. Even though they made the disgracefull error of judgement of preferring some else, I still think well of these places.
    I have left other interviews a bit frustrated. I have no desire to return to them. Even a skim reading of these fora shows how difficult some schools are to work well and be healthy in. This is not just a shame, but letting down staff and probably students.

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