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Are you just ticking boxes ?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by anon650, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. [/b]

    With my summer tan fading and the 6 week break becoming a
    distant memory, I drive up to the newly re-furbished gates of “over-subscribed
    school in sought after area” for the September Training Day. Ooooh , see the
    old faces with their new hair-cuts, see the Senior Management looking casual
    and almost approachable and there huddled in a corner, see the 20 NQT’s who all
    look about 12.

    So, today’s agenda is cleverly pinned on the back of each
    member of staff and personalised with their PMR targets. What a great

    I see Teacher with Outstanding Feature has a somewhat
    aspirational target…100% A*/A in A level Geology.

    Hmmm, easily done I think. Move all the borderline A/B
    students onto the recently introduced HND Geology course… sorted.

    We all sit down and pretend to look interested whilst
    thinking about the week’s to-do list. Hopeful Head gets the term
    underway….”Congratulations to Core Subject Department” he announces. “Results
    are up by 0.75% to 98.25% A*/A ….blah, blah, blah”

    The closing sermon on “be inspirational, be outstanding
    be the one who makes a difference” sends
    us on our way…to tea ,coffee and the loo.

    Half-term came and went in a flash and I am behind with
    all my exam classes. Not that surprising really when 10 out 20 of my lessons
    have been taken from me by Core Subject Dept for extra exam prep. I wonder if
    my 50% loss in lesson time is worth their 1.75% gain in exam grades. Oh well,
    I’m sure it’s all for good measure.

    Sexy, but bit of a sod HOD stands clutching the
    Departmental Development Plan in morning briefing – this can only mean one

    Teacher with Outstanding Feature is already dusting down her
    “ Gimmicks and gadgets for Outstanding Lessons” Box.

    It’s the start of the Ofsted week. I arrive at school
    feeling zombified by the overkill on lesson planning sheets. We all pile into
    the staff room with extra bags under our eyes to meet and greet the Ofsted
    Team. Lead Inspector looks about 105 but
    a jolly chap nonetheless. He reminds us that there is nothing to get stressed
    about and we should all just carry on as normal. If normal means everyone
    running around like headless chickens and panic-stricken at the thought of their
    lesson being observed then we don’t have anything to worry about.

    I notice that Teacher with Outstanding Feature is looking
    particularly pleased with her giant “Countdown Clock” on the screen. Apparently
    she has set it so that a photo of a pupil in the class appears every 5 mins. A
    timely cue for some Assessment for Learning to take place.

    I make my way to my teaching room. Just my luck…. Lead
    Inspector is already there, perched on a stool, clipboard at the ready and with
    the Ofsted smile fixated on his face.

    Lead inspector will be looking to tick 101 boxes for an
    “outstanding” grade. But personally I will be happy with a “satisfactory”. I
    have decided to stick with my tried and trusted recipes for student success. I
    only manage 10 ticks.

    Well, news travels fast.
    I am sitting in Hopeful Head’s office for my ”staff intervention
    interview”. Hopeful Head lists some of my downfalls in my observed lesson.

    My lesson objectives were not displayed on
    all 4 walls and I only mentioned them 5 times.

    I didn’t do my Assessment for Learning every
    5 mins

    2 students broke the “no hands up” rule.

    Only 25 students were able to quote their
    forecast grade, target grade, FFT grade and their working at level.

    The task at the start was too open-ended but
    the task at the end was too “closed”.

    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    my defence I tell him that the students often thank me for teaching them and
    helping them understand the work&hellip; &ldquo;but does it tick the box ?&ldquo; he asks. &ldquo;It
    ticks my box&rdquo; I reply. He is not amused and recommends that I attend the Ofsted
    linked &ldquo;Master 101&rdquo; course. In the
    meantime I can do some lesson observations in school.

    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    </font> It&rsquo;s official, the school has achieved
    &ldquo;Outstanding&rdquo; status. Apparently, amongst other things, the Ofsted team was
    very impressed with the school&rsquo;s effective &ldquo; staff intervention interviews&rdquo;.

    congratulate myself for being part of that and soon forget about my observed

    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    God it&rsquo;s Friday.
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.

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