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Bad at lesson Observations - For interviews

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by sebedina, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    Despite having excellent subject knowledge, somehow I don't come across very well in interview/observation situations. I normally plan my own lesson for the observation and do everything from scratch which takes me ages to put together.

    I honestly don't know if the lesson is hitting the right expectations. I always have differentiated objectives, and have success criteria. It is the "delivery" that somehow goes wrong... I don't know whether I talk too much or if my activities are not managed properly. I give praise and try and smile, but time and time again I get rejected. However, whenever I have had "learning walk" observations, things go OK and there aren't issues. So I am definitely doing something wrong during observations and I don't get the job. I usually get ill/depressed for days after the rejection and I take is very badly.

    I have developed a fear of going into schools for observed lessons. I almost feel that I grow two heads or wear "horns" whenever I am being observed and I scare them away!!!

    Do you use an existing Scheme of Work when planning a lesson for observation purposes?? Would it be better for me to stick to lesson that has already been put together on a Scheme ??

    In my last job which was a long term sickness cover, I was told that the school is trying to get "outstanding" and implying that I wasn't good enough so was given the heave ho. This is despite me working hard on creating great displays and resources and the class books had good work in them and were all marked etc. I know it was my delivery that had let me down because it was one of my "own" lessons, not one planned from a Sow.
  2. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    This has really knocked my confidence and makes me ill.
  3. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    There are quite a few things in this post that concern me.

    1. "I usually get ill/depressed for days after the rejection and take it very badly" - I suggest you see your GP if this is how you feel.

    2. "I have developed a fear of going into schools for observed lessons" - which is very likely coming over to the observer, and also showing in your delivery.

    3. "I know it was my deliver that let me down because it was one of my own lessons" - did the school give you any feedback or is this an assumption?

    I really think you need to see a GP. Really. If you are feeling as depressed and dejected as you state, then this will be showing in all elements of your teaching. I would really focus on getting some help for this before you go for another permanent post. And when you do, if you are not successful, ask for feedback for the lesson. This may be hard, but it can be extremely useful.

    Good luck!
    midnight_angel likes this.
  4. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Doing interviews and coming across well is definitely an acquired skill.

    Ssimilarly does observed lessons in a strange environment with a strange class is something that comes with a bit of practice.

    I do think that, if it is appropriate, you should teach the lessons you already do and not 'plan them from scratch'. Aafter all, if they are good enough for the students in your own school then they should be good enough for any other school. Otherwise you are doing something wrong in your current job.

    Ttry not to second guess the strange school just do what you think is right and try to do a lesson you are familiar with. That way you should have less of a problem with delivery.

    Bbest of luck with the job hunting and, I am sure, you will get there in the end.

    PS lots of resources from THEOGRIFF about this.
  5. kimberleyanddarren

    kimberleyanddarren New commenter

    What do you do at the moment? Could you try supply to help you get used to different schools?
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I can quite understand that failing at interview is upsetting. Most people ARE distressed when they hear the disappointing news.

    I do agree, however, that to get so distressed and down about it is very bad, and so you ought to go and see your GP to get help with possible depression.

    As for the interview techniques - Yes I have loads of tips in my advice articles.

    And applications advice too, to really impress them before you even get into the classroom!

    So next time you are going to apply, come over to Jobseekers and ask me on there.

    But do go and see your GP this week.

    Have a peaceful half term

    Best wishes

    midnight_angel likes this.
  7. midnight_angel

    midnight_angel Senior commenter

    You've posted this in two other forums. In all three threads, I have seen some good advice. I've posted mine in another.
  8. missrturner

    missrturner Occasional commenter

    Are you currently in a school at the moment? I had a class teacher observe my lesson before I went for my first interview and she picked up on some good points. It was nice too to be able to have a run through of my lesson, change anything that didn't work with the class/time etc.

    Also, do you ask for/get feedback? I didn't get my first job but the headteacher and deputy did sit me down and explain the errors in my observation which I was able to take away and apply for my next.

    I understand what you mean about the rejection, it can be very terrifying to have to keep building yourself back up and doing it all over again. You are, however, getting these interviews. Which is fantastic. Perhaps do a brainstorm of the feedback you received, anything that particularly stood out to you you'd do/not do again?

    One thing I found quite helpful was talking to the other candidates before our interviews. We would all ask each other what we were doing, how our interviews had been going etc. It helped calm me down to talk to the candidates and understand they were just as scared. It also gave me some good ideas for my next interview.
  9. lindsaygii

    lindsaygii New commenter

    Definitely repeat, as far as you can within the criteria, a lesson you have taught before. I would never try to do something brand new, first time out, all singing all dancing, for complete strangers in an interview situation. No wonder it isn't working!

    By the way, just a thought, but has it occurred to you that the people interviewing you won't have seen your lesson before, even if you secretly know you taught it eight times last week? I just wondered if, under the the pressure to produce something 'new', you had forgotten that every word you speak will be new to them. :)
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, always start from a lesson that you have given that went really well . . . come on over to Jobseekers when you want more advice.

    Best wishes


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