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How many observations should teachers have?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by stress_head, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i am going to refuse it, but i can't until school is open again - this was only landed on me on wednesday. and it IS the HT.
    i've already made a formal written concern about observations, to which i've had no reply, so i'll be following that up as well.
  2. janehelen

    janehelen New commenter

    The reason for being unhappy about the regime of observations is that it has destroyed the trust in senior management to give support, rather than to bully and be punitive. The whole process of "performance management" (another name for performance criticism without management), target setting, bonuses, advanced skill teachers, etc has put teachers in competition with each other, rather than encouraging them to cooperate and be supportive.
    If the behaviour in schools is worse, then perhaps it is at least partly due to the fragmentation of the teaching community. The most powerful disciplinary tool is "if you take on me, you take on the school". Where the staff are competing against each other, this doesn't work.
    I agree with another post - I'm as glad as anything that I am out of it and retired.
  3. Observations can of course be rigged. Heads can choose to see the awful class where you stand no chance, particularly if they are shy on behaviour management and don't like you. In such schools, it is easy to foster the "I'll get you done" culture where the teacher is the meat in the pupil & head sandwich.
  4. I am being observed by a new Assistant head and some one from the LEA so the LEA person can check the standardisation of observations. I have had 3 observations since September and am beginning to wonder what's going on. Ihave you heard of this Observation to check Observations before?
  5. ianj6

    ianj6 New commenter

    I have, and when it's someone from an outside agency, they usually choose the strongest teachers, (so big up you!). thye don't want to look bad for the LEA do they?

    Well done
  6. Expect to see more of this. Ofsted inspectors should expect to carry out joint observations with senior leaders. So senior leaders need to be part of joint obs to ensure their judgements are sound.
  7. baitranger

    baitranger Established commenter

    You've hit the nail on the head.
    A significant number of badly behaved children can lead to a low grade for a lesson.
    The whole observation system is grossly unfair and can be used as an alternative to disciplinary action, with less risk for management : they hold all the cards if they can dish out the lesson observation grades.
  8. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Yes. The LEA person is checking your SMT's judgement. There isn't a limit to how often people can be observed - that's a myth.
  9. An unofficial amount is approx 3 hours per year, therfore expect about 6 observations half sessions, unless school is in a category then can be unlimited.

  10. Last year I was a 60 year old NQT. I really did not find that the way observations HAVE to be made are consistent with how I see education. I have been though enormously supported by fellow staff, but I would like to share the following with you. During my PGCEI was very very lucky to have Don Newton at Birmingham City University for whom I recently wrote the following student reference
    "<font color="#7f0000"> It is no secret that secondary maths in English schools is in a very serious condition; and there is little real evidence that it is improving. Government hyper accountability and league tables are in my view pushing the whole process the wrong way. Any university teacher training potential school teachers has his work cut out. Where new teachers do pass and go forwards into careers it is often only into a haemorrage about five years later when they can take it no longer.
    Don Newton was the antidote to this sorry state of affairs. From the very start his passion for the teaching vocation and his commitment to engaging with us was extraordinary. His style was to give himself totally and to push himself mercilessly in helping us forwards through the many obstacles and tasks that paved the 9 months of learning and practice.
    He did not simply push and support from behind either; having experienced other mentors doing their best to make objective observations of lessons, and tick the correct boxes, often denying themselves and me the opportunity to celebrate a special excellence I now see how different his style - and spirit - was. He would never hesitate to abandon the role of impartial observer and throw himself into the teaching process alongside the trainee being observed. The result was nearly always spectacular, an outstanding experience for the school students, and many subsequent weeks of warm glow as the school students would refer to the visit by 'that man from your university' and ask about when he would return.
    That form of proactive and fearless example was support at its considerable height; the student teacher was exhilerated, his school students were thrilled, the subject of maths was raised to a hitherto unknown level of engagement and excitement, and the student teacher's flagging resources completely revitalised.
    It flew in the face of cold objective assessment and judgement. It switched on the engine of progress and development. I cannot believe my luck in meeting such a person. "
    Also remember John Holt who said that if we taught children to speak they would never learn....
    Bon Courage, we all know how you feel!!
  11. Red4Wine
    3 hours is the amount for Performance Management related observations. There is no limit on any other obs.

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