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Fed up:(

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by thedancingqueen, May 23, 2011.

  1. apologise in advance for moaning. I'm on my final teaching placement and I work so so hard to take comments from the teacher on board and plan really good lessons. I spend my evenings working, I really try to make lessons productive and fun and the class seem to enjoy my lessons. Today, I had my only observed lesson from my coordinator and it was a disaster. I spent so long planning it today, the kids just appeared confused and were reluctant to answer my questions when normally they are very keen, we get a lot done and I am normally fine at keeping to time. I won't say exactly what it was about but it was a ratio lesson. I thought they would have done ratio before (yr 5 group) but just in case, I planned really simple questions. I explained it on the board and modelled but it took them a while to grasp it (middle set). I kept to ten minutes for the input but the main was too long because they were struggling to scale quantities up or down on their worksheet and I thought if they are struggling to do this then they're really going to struggle with their independent task. For the independent task we made something messy, involving measuring skills. I want to be a bit vague in case people from school go on here, even though it's probably obvious to them what I'm talking about. Due to kids' lack of understanding and they normally work well in my class, I was really criticised for my lesson and told I was disorganised as well as a lot of other things. I regret taking a risk and trying to do something practical. I regret doing ratios and wasn't aware that they hadn't done them already (I was going to ask the teacher but they were off ill). I should've just used worksheets and it would've been easier to include a proper plenary.
    I walked home in tears and it's really made me feel worthless. I know as a teacher, you've got to be able to take and act on criticism but it was coming from both my coordinator and my class teacher and I feel really fed up. I feel like whatever I do, something goes wrong. People on here may tell me to grow up or stop overreacting but it bothers me that my lesson didn't go well. It really does and I feel incompetent. How do I know if teaching is for me? I have enjoyed this placement but lately, I've been putting myself under so much pressure and working harder and harder to try to improve as much as possible, that I'm not enjoying it as much. I'm just sick of being criticised to be honest and people seem to tell me one thing to my face at school and then say another behind my back. My class teacher also thinks I'm disorganised. I can't understand it though. I come to school on time and with everything prepared. Any advice please? I'm only observed once a year by my coordinator and I got nice comments in my first year of university but for the last two years, she's been very critical.

     
  2. Meant to put <u>I apologise in advance for moaning. </u>Sorry for missing the 'I' out.
     
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    It is really disappointing when a lesson you've put a lot of time and thought into planning doesn't go well. Try not to get demoralised by one bad lesson, though - you said "the class seem to enjoy my lessons" and "normally they are very keen", so you must be doing something right! It's always a shame when you get observed during a bad lesson, because then you have to hear criticism instead of just thinking it over in your own head. Was the criticism from your coordinator and class teacher the same as the things you were thinking about the lesson? You sound confused about their use of the word "disorganised" - can you ask your class teacher tomorrow to clarify what they mean, perhaps to suggest some ways you could improve in this area? I always think it's worse if you don't really understand the criticism, because then you don't know how to work on it.
     
  4. Did you do something for your observation which you wouldn't normally do? This is such a risk, and is something that a lot of student teachers feel pressured to do, but we really shouldn't. If you think a particular type of activity/style of lesson etc is right for your pupils then that should be your only motivating factor - not because you want to impress your observer. They will be impressed by your pupils' progress more than anything else.
    Moreover, it seems that you may have over-prepared for this lesson (again, pressure). Perhaps this resulted in you being so rigid to your plan that you didn't stop and think "this isn't working, try a different approach". I've had observations where I've not got anywhere near the objectives/outcomes I had in my plan (secondary maths), but it was still a good lesson because I reacted to the challenges and adapted as necessary - that's a normal part of teaching isn't it? (In the same way that you'll sometimes have lessons were you've hit the objectives half way through the lesson and then have to dive in to what you had planned for the next one, or make up some more extension tasks on the fly.)
    But look at all your other lessons. It seems that you are doing things right normally, so just chalk this up to experience and use it. On that note, do you agree with the feedback you were given? If you had a chance to evaluate your lesson before the feedback would they have matched up? If so, then you know what went wrong and are in an even stronger position to correct it.
     
  5. Yes I did do something completely different from what I'd normally do in Maths. I regret it but that's what the class teacher advised for it to 'sparkle'. I would normally do worksheets and that's what I wanted to do, but instead I planned to make something really hands on, I knew it would be a risk and could go horribly wrong. I did plan it in detail and devoted many hours to planning every aspect but when I saw them getting lost in today's lesson, I did try and simplify things and get the lesson back on track. If my teacher had told me they hadn't done ratio work before then I would've taken a worksheet approach instead of a practical one but they haven't been well lately, I had to plan it all myself and my plan wasn't checked by the teacher before the lesson. They know the class better than me and they suggested the practical idea. I had no idea they would make so little progress but I did think that the lesson went badly too and I will not be adopting a 'practical approach' again in my remaining three weeks of placement. Worksheets have worked well for the class so far and since it's a tried and tested method, I'm sticking with that. I have no more lesson observations and they're not going to fail me on the basis of this one lesson. I have taught many lessons which I think were good and overall they're fairly happy with me I think. I can't help but be disappointed though and if I'd had it my way, I would've stuck with teaching the way I normally teach. I don't care if people think it's boring or won't sparkle. Crucially, they would've made progress and it just felt like I had to put on a good lesson to entertain my coordinator. I'm only interested in the progress the children make and the practical activity was too time consuming so I won't be doing something similar again. I did agree pretty much with the coordinator's comments. I knew that the lesson could've gone better and that I wasn't sticking to the time limits well. My main part of the lesson was too long and we didn't have a proper plenary. I call it a disaster but I'm learning from it. I do feel though that if I hadn't gone down the practical route, the lesson would have been fine. If I'd just given them a worksheet, I could have walked round and it would have been so much easier to check for understanding and I actually would have had the chance to help everyone, which I didn't really get to do today. I would never normally do such a practical and I'm having confidence in my own ideas from now on for lesson observations and just doing things my way.
     

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