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If you were observing a trainee, what would in your eyes make a brilliant/outstanding lesson?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by thedancingqueen, May 2, 2011.

  1. I'm on my final block placement in a year 5 class and my teacher is observing my lessons several times this week and giving me feedback. Last year and in my first year, most of my lesson observations were regarded as good with outstanding features. I want to prove to myself that I can do better so does anyone have any advice please? I have looked at the ofsted criteria for an outstanding lesson and I know the teacher will have their own opinion on how good the lesson is. Just some general advice for how to impress would be great, apart from of course being able to show the lesson planning and having all the resources prepared and differentiation in place. I really want to teach great lessons but at the same time, for it not to be too big a departure from the way I've been teaching since and before Easter. I expect for the teacher to say it is good to be honest, rather than outstanding. I know a lot of people who were 'good' last year and now on their final placement, they've been told that their teaching is satisfactory. I don't want to drop so I want to do everything in my power to teach good lessons.
     
  2. I'm on my final block placement in a year 5 class and my teacher is observing my lessons several times this week and giving me feedback. Last year and in my first year, most of my lesson observations were regarded as good with outstanding features. I want to prove to myself that I can do better so does anyone have any advice please? I have looked at the ofsted criteria for an outstanding lesson and I know the teacher will have their own opinion on how good the lesson is. Just some general advice for how to impress would be great, apart from of course being able to show the lesson planning and having all the resources prepared and differentiation in place. I really want to teach great lessons but at the same time, for it not to be too big a departure from the way I've been teaching since and before Easter. I expect for the teacher to say it is good to be honest, rather than outstanding. I know a lot of people who were 'good' last year and now on their final placement, they've been told that their teaching is satisfactory. I don't want to drop so I want to do everything in my power to teach good lessons.
     
  3. Im going to be an entirely honest - I dont think it's possible for you to be Outstanding whilst you are a trainee.
    I know incredible teachers who have been teaching years, but have still not been graded outstanding. When you have a full time job your Headteacher will be reluctant to grade you as outstanding unless you 110% are, because when Ofsted come they then say whether or not they agree or disagree with your headteachers judgements. If he's seen to have over-graded you, he's in trouble.
    I would do your best, be happy with getting a good, and know that you then have aspirations to get better in the future when you have a job. If you do get an outstanding for 1 lesson, please dont then go into your first job with the arrogance that comes with this - know that all it means is that one lesson was great, probably took hours to prepare, and you still have a long long way to go before you are truly an outstanding teacher. It comes with experience, realisations, trial and error of working many different ways, learning from much more experienced teachers, knowing your class and your children inside out, etc etc, which is why I dont think a trainee can be outstanding.
    Anyway, my reccomendations to do as well as you can would be as follows:
    You need to make sure every single child makes progress. There is a fine line between them finding it easy, and being overly-challenged. Your differentiation and work that you set has to be spot on for your class. I find this the hardest to be honest - I know my class very well but there will always be children that surprise you and find something really easy, or really hard, when you hadn't anticipated it. Make sure you have extension work, or simplified work, ready for if this happens.
    Think outside the box with differentiation. Can you differentiate during your actual teaching session, aside from just adapting your questionning. Can you make use of a TA to take a small group and do something with them that is more/less challenging? Can you have a differentiated task/challenge that is varied for each group to discuss and come back with an answer?
    Try to encourage talk - make use of talk partners - focussing on reasoning and explaining. Ask open-ended questions, encouraging thinking skills.
    Dont be afraid to have a mini-plenary in the middle of your lesson, just to draw focus back to what you are doing. Praise a child for their work perhaps and explain why you are pleased with them.
    Think how you can show assessment during the lesson. Can you have a post-it note handy and jot down any observations that would inform future assessment? Most teachers do this internally but it is just a good way of showing your observor that you are thinking about AfL.
    Pace is also important. Dont let the lesson lag, dont give them too long to do anything. Make it sharp, snappy, fit as much in as you can and dont give the children chance to get bored and misbehave. Don't waste time getting equipment out/putting it away - prepare for this so it is done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
    Thats all I can think of for now - good luck!
     
  4. Thank you very much and I completely agree. If a class teacher thinks a trainee is outstanding, it doesn't mean they're outstanding according to ofsted criteria and I know that. I don't think I'm an outstanding teacher and I would never expect for the class teacher to tell me that. There are a few people on my course who have been told by their teacher that they are outstanding, but like you've said, the standard of the odd lesson here and there that you've devoted hours to preparing is unlikely to match the standard of your daily teaching. I just want to feel that I've grown since last year, rather than taking a step back. My teacher has been teaching for years and quite rightly has high expectations. They want the best for their class and I want to do a good job each day. I know I still have a lot to learn so one great lesson observation would never make me complacent. It's one big learning curve. I'll be listening to all of your advice.
     

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