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Help! GTP not coping! Still no paragraphs - sorry :(

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by BTBAM, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. BTBAM

    BTBAM New commenter

    I'm on month 3 of my GTP and each lesson is taking about 1 hour on average. If it's an observed lesson I'll spend maybe 30 minutes more.
    I got fairly good at using Powerpoint early on so I could make everything I wanted to. DON'T use your plan as a script. I did for my first lesson, putting on 'key questions' and all that but that's nonsense and I ended up ignoring the plan for the whole lesson. You'll end up looking at your plan all the time and inevitably a child will *** up your close and keen questioning with an 'out there' question and you'll spend a few minutes on that.
    Go with the flow when it comes to questions. Imagine none of them understand a word of what you've said and you're just about to start the individual learning? You'll be getting hot and flustered thinking 'I didn't ask them that!' knowing the person observing you is watching your questions. Just 'feel' how it's going.
    Know before you start the lesson at what point you want them to need to do their individual learning section of the lesson. That way you have your starter and teaching part in a half hour (ish) block and then you have their learning and plenary in another half hour block. That way the only time I ever look at the clock for is the one that says 'I've got 5-10 minutes until they need to be doing this' and that gives me enough time to know that if they aren't understanding it I can model it. I only look at the clock twice all lesson, and that's at roughly a few minutes before the half hour point and then when I start hearing 'IM FINISHED I JUST FINISHED EVERYTHING WHAT SHALL I DO NOW' from the more able students.
    Have a fantastic template of a lesson plan, it'll sort you out. Use two pages on Word and have several boxes on the top of the page; include the date, learning challenge (or target), information from previous lessons, and also information from previous assessments. Then underneath that you have bullet points for your starter, teaching, learning and plenary. Then underneath have a box for 'assessment' - in it put 'thumbs up' (to see if they understand), note taking on focus group, marking during the lesson etc. Then your plan will remind you to do those things.
    On the right have a box that includes which children will work with the TA and what the TA will do, which children are liable to fall asleep in the class so children to direct your questions to, which children will shout out and try and dance while you're teaching so you remember to keep an eye on them and make them hush up before they get a grip on causing chaos, have a box for what media (ie youtube links) you're using in case for whatever reason your link doesn't work and you can just access your plan on the PC and click it, and also what resources you'll need (ie cubes, whiteboards, etc etc) so you don't forget.
    It now takes me about 30 minutes to get all the information I need onto the plan from the short/medium term plan and a further 30 minutes to make a slide from scratch. I spend most of my time looking for mind-blowing pictures of trees and videos of shimmering water because they just don't know what stuff is, even an oak tree, and it really helps them get engaged. And the best thing of that is that that's the fun part!
    It's SO important you get your lesson plan down to a minimum ASAP because it allows you so much more time to do all the other faffing around in the school. Often I find I'm covering a class each day or covering a whole morning or taking groups places or covering my own class for an afternoon etc and it's a huge burden off me to know it's easy to get a lesson knocked up quickly.
    Having said all that, I'm primary and you might be secondary so not all of this might be applicable. Either way, best of luck with it and I hope some of that helps. I'm in a really fortunate position to be at an unbelievably supportive and wonderful school but some of that might be useful.

  2. The only advice I would offer is to ignore the advicce about your plan being like a script. I'm on secondary English GTP and my plans are getting shorter and shorter all the time, because I find I just don't use them. I have a template for each teaching group with data/info about SEN etc, but then just write in the LO, and bullet point the 4 parts to my lesson.Hopefully that wil free you up a lot of time, but it will only work if you re confident working like that. I find a more detailed plan is nomally detrimental and, as the other reply said, it'd better to just get a 'feel' for the lesson - you can never know in advance what issues might come up and what they will/won't understand.
    Regarding the other stuff... It must be awful to be in a school that's not very supportive and without a mentor. my school and mentor are so supportive. Have you told your uni tutor about these problems?
  3. HI, I have just finished my 3 week teaching block. I spent hours planning and was always told I had not added enough information every time. In fact, every night until 10 was spent completing planning for the next day; I never got ahead and I don't know how I got behind. I too was known for getting more done that anyone else as a TA and would sometimes prepare things before even being asked when we re-ran a years planning. I have been told that once you are NQT the planning is a smaller format which gets even smaller once you pass that. I agree that I would not use it as a script but I completed the form as if it was to keep everyone happy.
    One plan got as long as 6 pages but it was for an observation. That was not detailed enough but it turned out the detail they wanted was in the Learning Question and Success Criteria not main lesson. So I am know searching frantically to find out how to write learning questions and success criteria as I keep getting different answers and can find no information on it so far.
    I don't know if it helps but I do sympathise with you. Can you contact any other students on your course with you? Mine have been a fantastic source of support when I remember to breathe and ask others when I am working so hard.


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