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Do you 'sparkle?'

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Waterfin, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    I don't know about anyone else, but I hear this work bandied around a lot when we approached inspection and when we have lesson observations for one reason or another.
    I got this feedback recently. The lesson was lovely. The behaviour was spot on. The children were all engaged. You gave a good solid lesson with no poor points, but you didn't sparkle.
    What is this mysterious quantity? I've never had the nerve to ask HOW to go about learning to sparkle. My class can be boisterous and silly, so I foster a really calm manner with my classes as I find it helps calm them in return. If I 'sparkled' then I think the behaviour would slip with some of my more immature ones.
    Is it a phrase that can't be quantified? Do I care? I want to be a good teacher and am. [​IMG]
  2. cinnamonsquare

    cinnamonsquare Occasional commenter

    Just another piece of jargon that will disappear soon, only to be replaced with something else (I've not heard "awe and wonder" for a while!)
    Sounds like your observer coiuldn't find anything to criticise but felt like he/she had to give you something to work towards and so came out with this little gem.
    I was recently criticised in feedback from an observation, "I can't give you outstanding because your differentiation was by outcome and you hadn't written that on your lesson plan." I asked if they had seen the differentiation by the way I talked to and responded to the children and their work and the answer was yes. So I asked, if it was observed during the lesson observation why has it not been taken into account. The answer? "Because it wasn't written on the lesson plan." I sighed and decided I didn't care that much. The children learned anyway, whether it was written down or not.
    If the children are learning, have spot-on behaviour and, by the observer's admission, your lesson had no poor points then who give a toss about sparkle? Continue doing exactly what you're doing.
  3. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Ask your observer to point out where in the OfSTED Lesson Grading Criteria it mentions "sparkle".
    If they are unable to, ask them to clarify what the bejeesus they're on about.
  4. First thing that came to mind was the sparkly vampires from Twilight.
    And I'd avoid aspiring to that kind of standard, personally.
  5. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Years ago we had a head whose favourite word was sparkle, used to describe our lack of it. He gave everyone a hard time, not a nice man at the best of time. He hounded out staff he perceived as having a lack of sparkle and raved about the amount of sparkle his new appointees had. The ones he hounded had good behaviour management and got good results, the new sparkley teachers were chaotic. We must have heard that word at least 5 times a day. In the end we had our christmas party and wore the sparkliest outfits we could find and sparkley Christmas earings. We nearly wet ourselves when the head commented on how sparkley we looked. We then had a competition to see how many times we could drop the word sparkley into the conversation. The penny dropped with the head half way through the evening and he never uttered the word again.
    There seems to have been a worring trend over the last 10 years to expect all teachers regardless of personality or the children they teach, to be these larger than life bubbly outgoing Dawn French kind of characters. Children need a variety of teachers and personalities as some will thrive with a Dawn French type and others will wilt and prefer someone a little calmer. Calm doesnt mean boring. In my school I behave differently to the different age groups as well. I am calm and quiet with nursery, as there is a lot of EBD issues and the slightest thing makes them hyper, usually my head who is a lenny henry kind of guy as he winds them up! With reception I can be a bit more lively.
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Spot on!
  7. Ask Inspector Sparkle to demonstrate.
  8. It's all such b*ll*cks isn't!
    I sat through a meeting this week that was all about how every lesson should have a huge wow impact as soon as it starts. Is it a bad sign that I am already so cynical about everything?!
  9. I am constantly told that children must learn a new skill in every lesson. Obviously not by people who actually teach.
  10. moggycat

    moggycat New commenter

    Aggghhh that would annoy me. What a ridiculous thing to say!! Ignore them and move on, you are obviously a good teacher!
  11. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    It alarms me to think that the maths teacher in the new adverts, practically wetting herself with glee that one of her students has completed his bingo card in the warm up, may be what some mean by 'sparkle'. Shudders!

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