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Do as I say not as I do

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by hummi7883, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. hummi7883

    hummi7883 New commenter

    Ha!! loads...
    One thing I find very funny....She observed me one lesson and the feedback she gave in the end was:half of the lesson was an outstanding lesson,the other half unsatisfactory!!!
    I asked Why? and she goes:You did not do a graded plenary!!!(How many times does she have the time to do a plenary leave alone graded one!!!???) [​IMG]
     
  2. Cosmic_Rainbow

    Cosmic_Rainbow New commenter

    my criticism is always that my lessons are too teacher led and should be more student led. so i observed my mentor to get an idea of a "student led" lesson. she talked to then for 35 mins, then let them sign in to the computers to answer a worksheet for 20 mins
     
  3. sarahspot

    sarahspot New commenter

    Yep - they are good at criticising, but no good at suggesting how to do.
     
  4. I find this thread rather distasteful. We get enough teacher bashing from the media, politics and public without doing it ourselves.
     
  5. Ishamel

    Ishamel New commenter

    Well then, I guess it would be distasteful to ever complain on an anonymous forum about bad practice or hypocrisy observed in a work environment.
    Inconsistencies like this can really confuse and stress out students, I think it's great that threads like this exist as a vent for frustrations and as a support network. Lots of teachers are forced to be mentors, aren't ready for it or just don't see themselves from the outside like students do. It's good to know what to expect as a student teacher on placement and start thinking about ways to address or ignore behaviour like this.

     
  6. Yes, but this thread was poking fun at teachers and mentors-nothing constructive about it. Why don't you start a new thread which focuses on advice?
     
  7. Muttley_in_the_Midlands

    Muttley_in_the_Midlands New commenter

    I often think that I have been very lucky with both my mentors. True, the schools they are working at have been on the poor side but they have been excellent. One tells me when she feels her lesson wasn't good - she says she hasn't done this or that. The other tells me that not all his lessons are going to as sparkly as they could be because it is not possible to teach 27 sparkly lessons per week.
    They have said - "Work on this..." and then after a lesson asked me where I thought they did that element and explained what I could have done better on that particular aspect in another lesson. I honestly do not feel either has been hypocritical but they have been honest - about themselves and about me.
     
  8. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    That's NOT what Eva said. She said that those who've read up on Bloom and think they know it all are the worst ones.
     
  9. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    My colleagues are under-going an LA inspection today and tomorrow. Last week, they had parents' evening and year 8 reports to contend with, in addition to a deadline for controlled assessment marking. One member of the department has recently returned from long-term sick and is trying to get back into the swing of things. At least 3 members of the department have no room of their own and have to constantly move from room to room.
    Meanwhile, as mentor I have had to arrange a timetable for our student teacher to observe a range of different classes. They do not have the time to put on a special 'performance' when a student teacher visits; they have got too many other things on their mind.
     
  10. lou1990lou

    lou1990lou New commenter

    For all of those moaning/complaining/mocking that the mentors don't do what they comment on, why not suggest doing formal observations for those classes for when they are teaching?

    I would also invite those who have commented and are therefore [effectively] jeering at their mentors to come back to this thread in 3+ years time and see whether they are still doing the exact same things.

    There are certain standards that you need to meet to be able to gain QTS, and your mentor is there to help you meet them: they have QTS, they don't have standards that they are required to meet ("required" and "should" have different definitions).
     
  11. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Also, it's very judgemental to pass comment when you don't actually know the ins and outs of the teachers' thought processes. Maybe they know that the pupil doodling at the back of the room recently had a family bereavement. Perhpas they know that the student who shouted out instead of raising their hand is a pupil who has never had the confidence to contribute before and to chastise them would be counter-productive. You can't know the teachers' decision making processes.
     
  12. Firstly;
    If they have an LA inspection they have even more reason to be at the top of their game. I'm sure you're not saying, we had an inspection last week, so it is basically feet up, press play on the DVD this week?
    Secondly;
    There are always justifications to be below par. Literally every single week every single teacher could give 10 reasons (if not a whole lot more!) for why they couldn't be at their best. If you run with the rationale of 'I'll teach some good lessons once X is over' you'll never teach any good lessons. The justifications you state are entirely mundane.
    Thirdly;
    Wow, teaching good lessons is a 'performance'?! Might you want to consider that teaching good lessons might actually be - dare I say it - good teaching? Maybe something we all ought to be doing a bit more often, and having that little push of someone in your class might be the incentive you need to do that.

    Fourthly;
    Mentors in secondary schools get a huge time allowance as a consequence of having a trainee. Even if you farm out a lot of lessons to other staff, you'll likely to gain at least (and frankly, a lot more is likely) 5 lessons a week, for 16 weeks. Of course, you put in time checking planning, observing lessons doing mentor meetings etc, especially at the start of a placement. However, lets not kid ourselves, unless you are unlucky and get a student teacher who is really having a hard time of it, beyond the first few weeks a mentor gains a lot more time than they lose. This time should mean they have more time to diversify their planning, and plan the lessons they do teach.
     
  13. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    This is such completely nonesense that I can't even bring myself to reply to it point by point.
     
  14. I quite agree Eva - charles1986 - you seem to have misunderstood what Eva was originally saying and you have then started to talk about different scenarios for a different issue.
    The issue for this thread that people have not liked, is the jeering way some posters were making fun out of their mentors. I think it is right for trainees to question the teaching that they see and learn from it, but in a constructive way. This thread has certainly not been that - especially as those trainees have not returned to the discussion and clearly were just using it to have a laugh, rather than gain anything constructive.
    I also would heavily question your fourth point. Mentors do not get any extra time to mentor. I stand by that.The time taken to have meetings, observe and type up feedback, discuss feedback, go through lessons plans and give advice, check any assessment of work, write up their final evaluations, write future references etc etc etc does not add to any extra time. Quite frankly, it would be easier to do it yourself. However, the value of training trainees is huge and I wouldn't give it up. I would just advocate that trainees understand what the needs of the placement are and to learn from each of their mentors in a 'constructive' way - just as Eva said.
     
  15. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    Where do you get this idea from? I am the professional mentor in my school with ONE period of remission for my role. This placement, I have 4 trainees across 4 subjects. The subject mentors get NO remission from timetable and, as is required by the school, are not allowed to give up more than 4 periods to a trainee. The rest of the timetable comes from other people.
    There is a significant difference between planning a lesson and planning and delivering an outstanding lesson.
    For some people, it can be. I have colleagues who are very didactic in their approach and might not get ofsted outstanding, but who get great results. I'm sure some people on here would judge them negatively for not demontrating outstanding teaching.
    That's nonsense. If someone has been long term sick, expecting them to be able to switch it on at the drop of a hat is unfair. If someone teaches in different rooms each period, how the hell are they meant to do "bell work"? If they have work coming out of their ears, card sorts and mini-plenaries are not likely to be a priority.
    I expect my mentors and the teachers working with trainees to teach them how to be outstanding. I expect the trainees to aspire to outstanding. I am also a pragmatist: I was part of the pupil shadow today and my lesson wasn't outstanding. That matters less than the fact that the trainee got to see how my school does certain things; how I manage the learning in my room; how students interact in my subject. If they come and see me later on in the placement, I will happily plan and deliver an outstanding lesson (by which I mean that I will ensure that I tick all the boxes) rather than simply doing what I do every day.
    We have to be honest with our trainees. My HT told the trainees today that I am outstanding. It's just a label - sometimes my lessons are not outstanding, and it's important that trainees are not only exposed to outstanding teaching. They need to see what really happens in schools, and develop from that too. Some people will never achieve that, and it can be really outfacing to see standards that you can't hope to achieve.

     

  16. I'm inclined to think that jeering is exactly what Eva did when she said "the worst trainees are the ones who have read blooms taxonomy and think they know it all."



    This is jeering. It is implying that student teachers (even those who have actually done the reading expected of a student teacher) think they know it all. Do they think they know it all? Is this typical really? I don't think so. I've met a lot of student teachers and I can only think of a handful that really think that, the vast majority want to learn to be good teachers and often find it hard to tally what they encounter at uni with what they see in the reality of the classroom. Since what they see in the classroom is typically worse than the idealised view they encounter in uni, they are naturally critical.



    I agree with you that student teachers who jeer at their mentors (some have indeed done this in this thread) are wrong to do so. If you read what I've written you won't see me defending these people at any point.



    I haven't misunderstood what Eva said, with the kindest respect, it wasn't really a complicated point. I think you are confusing 'disagree' with 'misunderstand.' I think Eva is making far too many excuses for sub-par teaching, and I've said so.



    Secretly I suspect part of the irritation that many people have when they are criticised by a student teacher (besides the fact that clearly it can be very rude) is the fact that it is true.



    Apparently what I've said is "such nonsense" that it cannot be replied to point by point. Perhaps a summary of every paragraph so you can see all the points that Eva things are "absolute nonsense", might help Eva form a response to explain exactly why she thinks the following points are "nonsense."




    1. You should be teaching your best lessons when you are being inspected, and shouldn't just give up once the inspectors leave.



    2.. Teaching good lessons is good in and of itself. If student teachers encourage teachers to do this a little more often that is a good thing.



    3. If you wait for the perfect scenario/situation to teach outstanding lessons you will never teach any outstanding lessons.



    4. Mentors get time in lieu for being mentors.




    The only point anyone could ever possibly contest is point 4. I actually do think being a mentor is a lot less work than being a teacher teaching those lessons. Perhaps in some schools they have policies (only 4 lessons to one teacher etc.) that reduce the time you get. This isn't typical in my experience, and you will find many schools where mentors get virtually 50% of the timetable taken by a student teacher.



    I think the "it is so much work being a mentor" argument is typically brought out by mentors because a) there is some work involved b) being a mentor is a very important role indeed c) they know deep down its a nice change/opportunity for them to do and they realise the need to justify that to other envious staff who are often thinking; If it is so much work, want to swap?
     
  17. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    The definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting different results.
    For this reason, I see little point in coversing with you further on this topic.
     
  18. Either that or you haven't got a leg to stand on?
     
  19. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    Being an excellent mentor is hard work. My mentors are expected to deliver a documented session once a week, the records of which I check weekly. They are only allowed to give up 4 periods, but need to formally observe at least once a week. They have to plan the timetables for their trainees with careful attention to all kinds of things. Most of my mentors take it very seriously, and those who don't only get two chances before they no longer mentor. I work in an outstanding school and it's important to me that our ITE is also outstanding.
    Yes, it's a great job. I think mine is the best in the school. But mentors here get no pay and no remission. Mine is negligable. If you have great trainees, it can be easy. If you have mediocre or poor trainees, it's hard.
    Eva's point about Blooms is true: some, not many, have read the stuff and think they know it all already. In those cases, mentoring can be nigh on impossible since they simply won't be told. We've had one of that sort in the last 3 years and it got very difficult. That person did not complete the course. It's just like when someone comes in from another school and insists on saying "in my last school.." every 5 minutes. It's wearing and it's not always that appropriate.
    As for
    , I agree, up to a point. Trainees here come with the idea that every lesson needs a WALT and a WILT - those two will never ever be part of what I do. That doesn't make me less good or the trainee more good; it makes us different. I don't expect the trainees to be me, and I don't expect them to judge me on the basis of not being them.
     
  20. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I assure you, I do. But I will not be goaded into a long post addressing you point by point when I know it will make no difference.
     

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