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Confused and hard done to IMHO - feel awful

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by BuryFCA1, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. BuryFCA1

    BuryFCA1 New commenter

    Yesterday our SLT had a learning walk and our head spent the last 15 minutes in my year 10 RE lesson in the afternoon. It was easily the worst class in our inner city school. Even our AST's baulk at the idea of teaching them in the afternoon and especially my subject RE. After the lesson my Head slated me. She said I need to get a grip on them and the lesson was graded a 4 from the 15 min snapshot she saw. I feel hard done to. They are a difficult class, a difficult subject and a difficult time of day but she would not listen to this. Yet their GCSE exam results are still good and I was made a Head of Year last week by the school for September 2011. Mixed messages and confusion a plenty. What is going on????
  2. You should ask for a full lesson observation report (I was observed on Monday by our Deputy Head with my Year 10 group, and we use an Offsted-like form). The feedback should identify what went well and what did not. In my one hour debrief (today, it was a 3 with elements of a 2) the deputy made entirely constructive suggestions as to how the lesson could have been moved to a 2 with elements of a 1. They were excellent suggestions. I have had our monthly departmental meeting today (after meeting with the deputy) and as a team we discussed the best way to move our SoWs etc towards supporting better learning. The whole process was focused not on what went wrong but what we need to do to improve. I felt entirely supported and I feel really good about the whole thing right now.
    So, go ask for written feedback. Ask for a full observation of the same class. Ask for constructive suggestions on how to improve. It puts the ball back in the management's court. Will they step up? Mine did. I have used this tactic many times in the past and I have always benefitted.
    How 'bad' the students are has no real relevance.
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Learning walks are not meant to be lesson observations unless you have prior notice and an agreed focus of the obs.
  4. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Could you explain this comment further please?
  5. To refer to students as inherently badly behaved is too broad a brush. It may be that a class *currently* exhibits poor behaviour, work ethic and focus (i.e. a poor attitude to learning), but were they born that way? Are they truly irredeemable? They might be.
    I remember my first year at my current school when I took over what the HOD called the 'class from hell' at the start of year 11. All disaffected boys. The set was a 'dump set' who hadn't made a third option choice at GCSE and so were put into one class and given my subject (simply because my predecessor had some free timetable time), one they did not wish to do. I had the chance to observe them at the end of the previous July. Riot would not have been sufficient description. They had done no coursework and most had failed their first modular exam (those that bothered to attend it).
    I had both the deputy and the LEA behaviour advisor in to help guide me. Within one month *most* were properly focused. At the year end 75% got Cs or higher. One went on to do the A level and got a B in that.
    If we accept that a student is *bad* or beyond redemption, we are failing them. That some students fail themselves is inevitable. In that class I mention above, one chose not to attend the exam. Classic Fail. One chose to only attend school for one day a week.
  6. BuryFCA1

    BuryFCA1 New commenter

    I dont quite understand what point you are trying to make fluffycat????
  7. I think what fluffycat is trying to say is right...you seem a bit defeatist about the kids and you also seem to be accepting that they will find RS boring...feels like you have given up before you get in the room!
  8. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    That's not the same as saying that their bad behaviour is irrelevant (which is what she appeared to say - perhaps she's revising this a little now).
  9. @YMB. I didn't say that bad behaviour by students is not relevant.
    I put bad in quotes. And I didn't refer to their behaviour. I said:
    What I meant was, no matter how 'bad' we feel they are, we mustn't let that colour our views or actions. The OP seemed to be saying that it should be taken for granted that they would misbehave. We have all been there. I know. Over a fortnight, my timetable has 50% of the final periods as Year 9s and every Friday last period is my Year 10 group. It can get to feel a bit ... well, you know.

  10. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    You said 'how bad they are' not "how bad we feel they are".Your remarks have clarified this somewhat.
  11. Poor use of English on my part. My bad.

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