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Curriculum observation while on supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by splinters, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    so, im 12 weeks into a 15 week assignment. The school has trusted my experience and given me a great deal of autonomy in teaching; even letting me teach my own KS3 schemes of work. I have been given very little training in terms of procedures etc. Leaving me to find out for myself what I need. I dont attend faculty/department/development meetings and, aside from learning walks and occasional drop ins, no one has checked my marking, teaching or pretty much anything else so far. Now I am told I will have a curriculum observation by SLT. I dont mind as Ive been teaching a long time but I have the class from hell and just been given a lesson plan proforma and a list of criteria which, given the pupils in that class, will be nigh on impossible to attain outstanding no matter how hard I try.
    Question is, does the result of that observation have any bearing on future roles/references etc? Again, i dont mind the feedback or the observation but given that no one has observed or scrutinised my work so far and I have no training in their procedures etc. I certainly dont feel it to be a fair reflection of my abilities overall.
    Any advice on this?
  2. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    And by procedures, my last stint was in an independent school so some of the jargon on the lesson plan is a bit alien....plus they have their own 'initiatives' and targets that no one has really explained to me since I started. I rarely get internal emails even when stuff like invigilation rotas have my name on them and when I am on an internal list I get lines like: this doesnt apply to you so domt worry. I have had good reports of my time there and been promised a good reference so I don't want that to change but Im not sure just how relevant this observation is...especially as its so near the end of my assignment.
  3. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    Ask them what the objective is.
  4. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    Yes, it most certainly will have a bearing on future references, and for that reason, don't accept it. If you 'fail' the observation, then you have an indisputable black mark on your name, that will have to be mentioned if asked about by future schools. And besides, you've held the fort for them, saved them a lot of hassle, and this is how they treat you? You went into supply to avoid this rubbish!

    I would drop whoever decided to formally observe you and explain exactly what you have already said above, and point out that as a supply teacher, anyone at anytime is welcome to drop in and observe anything for as long as they want, but a formal observation a few weeks before leaving isn't acceptable - if you are unable to meet their criteria, you do not have the time left to address concerns. If they still said you must have it, personally, I'd give them the week's notice that I presume you are on and leave - don't give a reason in writing but make sure your immediate line manager knows. If you are confident that you could tick the boxes but with a different class, I'd suggest you suggest a different class, and be clear in telling them that the criteria are not reasonable given the individuals in the class from hell. Whatever you decide, do it tomorrow.
    les25paul likes this.
  5. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Ask them who is doing it and why now?

    It could be rather a catch 22 situation if you're not careful.

    If you don't ask you won't know.
    By asking, "does the result of that observation have any bearing on future roles/references etc?" You may give them ideas you don't want them to have.

    You don't deserve such rubbish 12 weeks into a 15 week assignment.
  6. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Good advice and sadly not what I wanted to hear. I have a lesson planned that I want to cover before I leave as I actually care about preparing them for their course before I leave so I am not changing what I planned to deliver. I just hoped that this would not have any legitimate bearing on references etc. given I have had no formal training or induction into their system.
    I doubt they would find anything of concern in my lesson (conformity aside) but I would be gobsmacked if they did and acted upon it at such a late stage. I have had the head, deputy head and HOF in my lessons on several occasions: i am used to it. I just dont see the relevance of a 'formal' observation at this stage....still, im just going to deliver what is necessary for the class to progress.
  7. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    @Yoda, i believe it is a SLT line manager with no knowledge or experience of my subject area. Possibly with the HOF as well who I team teach with so they have been in several lessons where we have 'swapped over' and are 'delighted' with my work thus far.
    Yoda- likes this.
  8. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    What is the point in them observing you when there is just three weeks to go until the end of your placement. Feedback would be useful but there is not the time left for you to put in place any ideas they might have if they think there is a need.

    Since no one has observed you before and you have not recieved all the required training in that scholl's proceedures it would not be fair. I would be tempted to do as other posters suggest and give them a week's notice citing personnel reasons. (or your car could break down on the day of the observation ;))
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    As a supply teacher you're not obliged to do formal observations - I suspect someone,somewhere wants to tick a box.
  10. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Good news.
  11. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    I suspected exactly the same. I have a clear plan of what i want to achieve before i leave for reasons id rather not disclose just now (nothing dodgy at all, just being professional) so i dont intend to give notice. I will speak to the hod tomorrow and clarify the objective of the review and tell her my concerns regarding not being fully conversant with the centres expectations.
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    As someone else asked, why would the school want to observe you since you will be finished in three weeks? What purpose would it serve. I wouldn't agree to it and as others have said, give a week's notice if it comes to that. If you have been thee 12 weeks and they have been happy with your work then that should be good enough for a reference. Supply is hard enough without the stress of being formally observed.
  13. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    I have to agree...however, I will go along with it and, if there are any RI comments based on what I havent been trained/inducted in, I will simply turn it back on them and ask why no one bothered to include or induct me into their practises. I already had an informal observation (forgot about that) with verbal feedback and two casually mentioned recommendations; one of which was incorrect so they offered to amend it. Based on how casual that was I am not expecting anything too 'formal'.
  14. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    The safer route would be to leave.

    If you feel compelled to stay and do the observation, remember that it does come down to whether you've judged the attitude of the HOF and your performance accurately. If you have then a good observation it could be useful.

    My worry is that you may be surprised by judgements made against OFSTED criteria which usually make up formal observations.
    splinters likes this.
  15. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Cripes, I seemed to have opened a can of worms. Leaving never even entered my mind before today; i just wondered what the purpose of a formal observation was at this late stage...never thought of the possible repercussions. I will speak to my HOF tomorrow and casually ask what the purpose or objective of the observation is.
  16. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    And I cant avoid the fact that, as I am paid to scale, the next three weeks will net me valuable money for Xmas and beyond...sad but a financial reality.
  17. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Cash in your hand is as good a reason to stay as any.

    You must have other good references to have got this job.

    January is peak season for supply. If the worst happened and
    you were disappointed by their observation, now is the best time for it to happen. You are more likely to pick up work and other possible referees from these new schools.

    Good luck.
  18. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Thanks Yoda. I have excellent references from some quite high achieving/high profile schools. This is just a stop gap until the next round of HOD jobs pop up.
    Ill send you a message to clarify a few things ;-)
  19. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I'm afraid Mrs Yoda say's bed time.
    So if I don't reply please understand.
    She who must be obeyed has spoken...
    splinters likes this.
  20. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Understand, its a long read so maybe it will get you to sleep ;-) hopefully it will clarify a few things. Sleep tight...and thanks.

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