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From good to outstanding in music

Discussion in 'Music' started by crenwick, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. crenwick

    crenwick New commenter

    I was observed by my HoD today and, against the Ofsted criteria, she graded me as good with outstanding features.
    I am very happy with this, and realised I obviously have the oustanding features, but does anybody have any advice on how I turn my teaching into oustanding overall?
    If there is anyone reading this who has been graded as oustanding, can I ask what you did that went that extra mile? My HoD has given me some advice but I wanted to know what other people think! I know it's difficult as you haven't seen me teach but any advice/tips would be welcomed.
    Thanks :)
  2. Licking your observer's boots helps. No, I have no idea. I think it's seriously whether the observer got out of bed the right side that morning.
  3. I'm not sure that's terribly useful to the OP. With many caveats about it's Stakhanovite approach to teaching, I can recommend Pimp Your Lesson.
    It does have some good ideas to lift that lesson into the outstanding zone. It worked for me. And my last student teacher, who nicked my copy....
  4. crenwick

    crenwick New commenter

    Thanks, I will take a look at it!
  5. So muso, what do you think constitutes an outstanding lesson? I can't be fagged to buy the book. But I'm interested. (I have had one or two, but never could really understand what made them better than goods. Perhaps that is my assessor's fault for not explaining, or perhaps I wasn't listening. I tend to just get on with it.)
  6. Why does it matter? I mean, really? I could not give a flying floosey what grade I get on a bit of paper. What is the point? Who cares? And who is to say that the OFSTED criteria are a good tool by which to judge teaching?
    My students come in, they learn stuff about music, they go out. No one is hurt or injured (well, not often - and it wasn't me that stripped that power cable anyway). They have fun. Some of them do really well, others do quite well while a few need "special support". Most of them listen most of the time.
    My GCSE students all pass with with C's or above.
    My orchestra learns tune and then plays them quite well at concerts.
    My choirs learn to sing songs and sing them at the concerts and events.
    My Peris teach their students and they pass grades.
    Why should I care how someone rates my lesson. This job is hard enough as it is!
    Rant over.
  7. crenwick

    crenwick New commenter

    I want to be the best I can be and I don't think I am yet. Which is why I asked for the advice. I see your point but I at 25, I'd be quite saddened to think I'd already reached my peak in teaching. Perhaps I just set myself high standards, but I like to be challenged and have something to aim for.
  8. No, I agree, totally with you. (But I suppose it is admirable to want to be better. It's just 'whose better'?)
  9. If you are doing everything you are paid to do, you would get satisfactory. The gradings are an insult to the profession.
  10. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    exactly - we trained to do a professional job and those who want to improve do so through mistakes, successes and experience.
  11. casper

    casper New commenter

    Pimped my lesson, had 30 kids no TA lots of special needs pupils . All on task for a whole hour. Mini plenary and then plenary showing progress AFL, An amazing starter...... Satisfactory apparently,a week ago and no feedback . Oh this is the first time anyone has bothered to observe me in 4 years. Or even come into my lessons. Never see a soul, work all on my own. If I walk around the school and look at other year 9 classes, I just wonder what I have to do.

    Sorry rant over.
  12. crenwick

    crenwick New commenter

    I think half the problem is that non-music specialists often don't understand how music is taught. But no feedback is really not good! I should be grateful I got some then, but at least it was my HoD observing so she understood what I was doing and how it should be taught.
  13. I agree with that too. You sound like a good/excellent music teacher to me.
  14. Perhaps I was being a little mean spirited there. However the poster is obviously doing a great job as it is - is it really worth the extra effort or worry.
    I do sometimes realise that I could have taught something better, or been better prepared, or simply been more focussed. It happens quite a lot really. But I don't have time to do much about it because here come the next concert . . . . !
  15. Completely true. I had an observation by two non-musicians under new Ofsted a few weeks ago for what was not my best lesson, but was alright - all students on task throughout, whole-class workshopping style lesson resulting in a whole-class performance of a samba piece at the end, plus starter activity including literacy and geography, quick plenary - and all students showed progress through the learning of the piece, which was differentiated by task (i.e. some parts more difficult than others).

    My grade? Satisfactory. But more annoying than that, the reason why - because I didn't show any measurable progress, particularly because there was no written element to the lesson. Argh! I was royally p***ed off and sent the observers a copy of the music-specialist Ofsted framework...
  16. Makes you sick, doesn't it. I have had similar, where I have had to explain to my head that not everything fits into a neat package for AfL, outcomes, incomes, what a load of old rubbish etc etc. Why can't teaching be fun any more?
  17. dropje

    dropje New commenter

    Rock! Calm. No I don't believe in levels and yes I too have management who adhere them to the n'th degree and in the same breath admit they are meaningless.
    As for skills v understanding, for goodness sake let's have perspective. Of course you check for understanding in order then to teach the skill. I too was taught in a very didactic way, have a degree in music but unlike you only grade 8 in 2 instruments and a 4 in another. I have observed many many lessons where teachers talk talk talk and it is boring. sooooo boring. I walk out after 30 mins not because I have seen enough but because I am bored hearing the same voice and watching students half a sleep with no opportunity to interact with each other.
    This post asked for advice and I advised. You ranted which is neither. This isn't about your opinion on Obs numbers but a teacher who aspires to be outstanding, so help them, don't confuse them.
  18. crenwick

    crenwick New commenter

    Thank you for the advice! I think I have sparked a bit of a debate... I understand the frustrations of Ofsted criteria and observations, but regardless of how I am graded, what I want to know is any tips people have on how to go that extra mile and really make a lesson shine and stand out. Not just for an inspector or observer, but all the time in everyday teaching. Nothing all singing all dancing that you can only do as a one off, but things I can realistically do every day that will make my teaching great rather than just average or good. Any suggestions?
  19. buy The Lazy Teacher's Handbook by Jim Smith - full of ideas
  20. leadtrumpet

    leadtrumpet New commenter

    I get outstanding all the time. I got this by ofsted with no Areas for development!!!!! It is about personality as well as the content. Outstanding practice=
    TOTAL Engagement!!!!!!!!!!!
    To be honest i work my socks off. I do not get an increase in salary and basically its all a load of balony!!!!!! Just keep doing what you are doing.


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