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CfE - opinion needed

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by jonowen, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Dear Diary,
    Yesterday was horrible as I was observed by another subject teacher. We have had this peer-observation forced on us since 2010 and it reminds me so much of student days I could vomit. We are not supposed to feel threatened - this is to support and improve our classroom teaching - but when another subject-teacher sits with a jotter and pen, writing copious notes, I cannot help but say the wrong thing. Lesson went fine and matched up to my bullet point notes (oops!outcomes) pretty much. Feed back was positive but observing-teacher said she had to find something which I could do to improve on and that was that I should have written the outcomes on the board. I nodded politely and thought what a nice young teacher this was despite enduring 14 months at the chalkface. Och, I'm not going to give myself extra work by rewriting outcomes on board when they are already in my planner (why change the habit of 31 years methinks!!)
    Then I remembered last week when I had to observe another teacher and it dawned on me what the 4 empty photo-frame thingeys were on his classroom wall - teacher displayed printed outcomes in one of frames for the lesson, just a pity the writing was so small that pupils and teachers would have to stand 12 inches (30cms) from wall to read it. BUT, they were displayed so box was ticked..........
    Ok, all the above is a bit flippant but I'm hoping that to write it all down will help put it all to the back of my mind. I am not perfect and will always be able to improve, but my depts'. results have been a credit to my school and pupils over the last 5 years and I don't see how peer-observation by a different subject teacher is going to help my classroom practice. As an adult I know when I am doing a good or bad job, and hate the bullying tactics CfE is imposing on those above us who are maybe too scared to listen to us instead of their bosses - any thoughts?

    A very sad Joni x
  2. We also do the observations with teachers from other subjects and alot of teachers don't like it. Personally I got my other half to watch me and this gave her the chance to tell me what I was doing wrong at work as well as at home.
  3. xmal

    xmal Occasional commenter

    I don't mind being observed as I think it is good to have a second opinion. The whole thing can be a bit contrived though, e.g. having to find an area for improvement.
  4. As a newer teacher I like observations when they are from friendly but experienced teachers as they often pick up on things I can't myself or they have a helpful suggestion.

    As for writing up objectives -I do this for the class. I write up the objectives to remind them why we're doing the work but I make them so they'll understand the point of the lesson rather than in the same way as in my plans.
  5. piglet171

    piglet171 New commenter

    It's an HT ticky-box exercise for HMIE. Never mentioned at our school until an inspection became imminent.
  6. i don't think has come from CfE but from HGIOS which places great value of self evaluation. I jump through hoops when I'm observed and do what I like the rest of the time. Just be grateful you're not in Engerland where it seems to be law taht the kids spend the first ten minutes of the lesson faithfully copying down the What I'm Learning Today...instead of actually learning something!
  7. If you think peer observation is bad then wait until your school does learning rounds!!! I hate them with a passion! A team of people are chosen by those on high to visit classes looking at a particular aspect (e.g. collaborative working, active learning, questioning etc). The group descend on your lesson, observe without comment then leave. You are not allowed any direct feedback - the group come up with statements like "in most classes we saw...." or "in a few classes we found..." It is really hard knowing people are judging your lesson, but not giving feedback.
  8. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I wonder what happens if your lessons are found lacking,as mine would probably be found to be. Are you sent to CfE reform school? Are you reported to the GTC and tabloids let loose on you? Is your head put on a spike as a warning to others?
  9. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    thanks catmum - I'm going to find a photo frame to put your post in!!
    At break time today I was chatting to a new member of staff, who moved from another school after 30 years' experience. We once taught at the same school and I know this teacher is one of the very best - good lessons, good results, good classroom practice, managment etc etc. This teacher said they'd been awake since 3am due to the stress of the impending observation at 11am today. I hate that our profession has turned into a scare-mongering farce - the teachers who need to go to reform school don't give a stuff and pupils are going to suffer as a result of the good ones wasting precious time with WILT, WALT,WT* et al........
  10. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I would actually welcome any of my 3 options. Anything to make it stop and put me out of my misery.
  11. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    .............not the head on a spike! Let me be reformed tho'.............that's an idea [​IMG]
  12. Perhaps you could look at it as helping the starting out teacher improve their performance - they're there to pick up hints and tips as how to do it properly .....
  13. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    More likely they'll be running to HT to report about the dinosaurs!
  14. holdingon

    holdingon Occasional commenter

    it is the law in Scotaland as well "thou must display thy learning intention" -yet you must "differentiate" so that you provide"progression for all" so that they can work at "their level" whatever that means
    let us get the 3 r's right first -eh!!!!!!!!!
  15. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Dear Diary
    Cooled down a bit now and realised that in the great scheme of things, observations are way down priority list [​IMG]
    Happy weekend everyone!
  16. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Yes, put that way, it all sounds so comforting.
    Of course, the whole point of 'HGIOS 2' was to make teachers question their own ability, experience and judgement. It's one of the control mechanisms that was introduced by HMIe to ensure the government of the day could use the education system to pursue a political agenda.
    How good is our school? Unfortunately, in truth, not half as good as it could be if government, politicians and bureaucrats would stop interfering and let teachers get on with teaching.
    Ah, but they're the best trained teachers ever - they must be because the SG and GTCS have told us it's true.
    What better way to improve learning and teaching than to get the inexperienced teachers to teach the experienced ones - well, at least until the inexperienced teachers are experienced and then they, in turn, will need help from the next generation to show them how to teach?
    Keep education in a continual state of flux where experienced teachers, talking commonsense, can be ridiculed for being out-of-date, reactionary and an impediment to 'progress' and the politicians, and their bureaucrats, can then tinker with the education system, and the future of children and young people, without too much opposition.
    Of course, it could be argued that having a 'critical friend' observe lessons is a good way to improve teaching and learning for the benefit of pupils.
    So, I have a suggestion to make.
    Why don't we make it part of the job remit of QIOs and HMIe Inspectors to teach a variety of classes, throughout the school year, whilst being observed by classroom teachers in the role of 'critical friend'.
    It would be a great opportunity for them to gain valuable, up-to-date, experience of classroom teaching and the feedback from the observer could help them formulate sensible, and workable, educational policies.
    Sensible, workable education, free from political interference - now, there's a thought. [​IMG]
  17. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Nice idea Fly, but they would want more money then......
  18. What a lovely way of putting it.

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