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Inadequate in lesson obs

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by radical_teacher, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. I got a 4 inadequate in my lesson by SLT. I never had that since I started my teaching career - in my 5 th year.
    I am confused what to do, should I quit ? My HOD said I'm good my result show that, but then I think HOD trying to keep my moral up. I'm looking for job elsewhere but now this obs will be on my record. Im stuck I feel embarrassed I don't think I'm outstanding but I don't think I'm inadequate
  2. You say you have had 4 inadequate obs. Have SLT given you targets of things you can improve, support to help you or a mentor?
  3. Not 4 inadequate lesson just this one in my 5 year teaching career - not sure what happen there were lots of negative comment but no target aparay from that it will be given to my Hod yo review
  4. A common theme on these forums is the harm done by members of SLT who undertake inappropriately managed lesson observations. Lesson observations performed by school staff should always be a collaborative activity - even if they are part of PM arrangements.
    Lesson observations organised by the school itself should not take place unless the school has first communicated the criteria that will be used and the process was explained. Observers should be given copies of the observation form and prompt sheet that the observer will use, which should included the criteria that will be be used to make a judgement. The observer should always explain how the evidence collected during the lesson was used to form a judgement, and they should explain what the teacher would need to do to gain a higher grading. The observed teacher should have an opportunity to ask questions. Strengths and areas for development can be discussed and formalised through a follow up note. Teachers should never be left in a state of bemusement, though clearly many are, judging from some of the posts that we have seen on this forum.
    Another point illustrated by the first post here is that the HoD was not involved in the observation and could offer neither an interpretation or support. Why ever not? Across the schools and academies that I am working with, we are training subject leaders to undertake criteria-based observations in their subject. Observing specialist teaching is a fundamental responsibility of subject leaders. Just being in charge of a subject is not enough these days; they must also take responsibility for the standard of teaching of their subject and make sure that their CPD budget can be shown to have been invested in improving teaching where necessary.
    If lesson observation is being done badly in your school and is causing anxiety then you should start judging SLT on how well they are doing it. You can form your own criteria. So for example, 'causes anxiety' is one criterion for the inadequate category. Add a few more criteria like 'explains clearly how the judgement was reached', 'explains what would be needed to achieve a higher grade', etc.
    There are many SLT that need training in observing lessons and school staff should be given collective feedback to them in order that they take the necessary action to improve.
  5. Thank you so much for this post Angie. I couldn't agree more. I believe that we do observations well but we probably have a way to go. Your post gives schools a checklist to use. There is no need for schools to create bad feelings when they should be taking the trouble to carry out observations with sensitivity and respect.
  6. You probably aren't inadequate. The problem at the moment is that the goalposts of what a good lesson is have moved again, and you have to learn how to play the new game, and learn which new hoops you must jump through.
    It's not down to how good a teacher you are anymore, whether your results are good, or whether the kids enjoy your lessons. It's down to them being able to tick a series of boxes in a 20 minute slot when someone comes in your classroom.
    This whole thing is becoming so completely ridiculous that I am beginning to lose all faith in lesson observations, especially when this is done by someone that knows nothing about your subject.
  7. Just wanted to add that this happened to me last week in a SIP observation. I have been teaching for 8 years and have always been Good, recently with outstanding features. I asked the HT what would happen if I wanted to leave, as in would he have to declare it on a reference and he has said that he would not as it is not part of a formal capabilty procedure. So I am weighing up the pros and cons and feel better knowing that.
  8. Hi, As if teaching wasn't demanding and pressurised enough without all the additional hastle above.
    I'm just wondering if someone can clarify a few things for me with regard to this 'formal capability proceedure' thing.
    My wife has been a teacher for 18 years and is having unsatisfactory lesson obs - 4s, one after the other (she has only taught at this school a year). She is so very upset and wondering what to do next.
    The school have issued her with a document today and have said there will be 6 weeks of formal capability starting sometime after next week when at another meeting the details of when it starts will be given.
    I am anxious on her behalf and unable to advise her as to what she should do. Should she resign before this proceedure starts? She has an unblemished record up to this point in her teaching career and has made, it would seem, a huge mistake in joining this school.
    If she leaves now what can she do with regards to references? Could she be a supply teacher? Does she have to talk about this last year if she decides to go for interviews elsewhere or could she just say something like she has been at this school for a year and it just hasn't worked out?
    I appreciate we seem to be a bit unwise in this situation but we have never had to face this before.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  9. thanx for posting this. I have had HMI and OfSted praise for my lessons and have always had good with elements of outstanding. Our school is being forced to become an academy and since then the head has judged me 1. satifactiory - weak and 2. inadequate. I am led to believe she is being 'supportive' but feel completely battered. I have bawled after both obs and cannot pull myself together. I feel like bailing. HELP! I put so much into my careet choice and now feel like driving off cliff or robbing bank... one of these has got to be more beneficial than the pain I feel right now,,,
  10. If you're going to take the 'good with outstandings' then you're also going to have to take the 'weak and inadequates' - if you have any faith in the accuracy, objectiveness, relevance and importance of the system of lesson observations employed these days.

    Ok, seriously, the observations are only one person's opinion at one point in time of one lesson. You've also been told you're a perfectly fine teacher by several other authorities so you've either completely forgotten how to teach or your head has an agenda, is being an ****, has shifted the goal posts, is incompetent and just plain wrong - all of which happen to someone somewhere in a school in the UK every single day. Ask precisely what you need to do to improve in her eyes and then in the next obs ensure your plan refers to this explicity, that you enact the advice in the obs and then in the feedback detail how you did this, and most importantly, explain in detail how her advice seemed to have a very postive effect on the learning of the pupils. She will, of course, lap it all up and you walk away thinking what an **** she is, get a better job as soon as possible and everyone is happy.
  11. smithy123

    smithy123 New commenter

    I know just how you feel. Today, an inspector wiped the floor with me, and several of my colleagues. It's not a case of us not being able to take a 4 grading on the chin, it's more about the way it was delivered. We are broken, all of us and the robbing a bank part of your post definitely occurred to me on my way home tonight!
    Day 2 tomorrow promises more of the same. Can't wait!
  12. I can remember my first year of teaching. I struggled. Everyone does. I would feel terrible after trying to steer 30 pupils through a lesson that I had spent hours planning but then didn't go as I expected.
    I often wondered whether I was in the right job. I doubted my capabilities on numerous occasions.
    But I stuck with it, mostly because I worked in schools with good headteachers who supported their staff. I consider myself fortunate because there wasn't the same external pressure on schools that there is now.

    These days I am in a position to work with many schools and try to help them with the problems that schools now face. I would like to respond to the postings on this thread. I can imagine a time when I would have written them myself - were the TES forum around then.
    I would need to say that the climate now in schools is very different to what I experienced as a new teacher. I can also say that that the current government under Gove is the very worst that I have known in my career for destructive, ideological changes on our schools and zero support for teachers that do a very difficult but essential job.

    I am deeply concerned that so many teachers are deciding to leave the profession in a time when jobs are hard to find. To be a teacher of our nation's young people requires an enormous skill set. Few people can do it, and some witless, ignorant education secretary comes along and is given the powers to make changes and what does he do?
    He sends everyone spinning in circles. He mucks about with headteachers' pensions, so that that they daren't object. He allows greedy heads to form academies and then pay themselves vast salaries (and then find that in year 2 there isn't enough money left to run the academy). He removes teachers pay scales so that they can be hired and fired. He destroys the examination system and puts in place a warped 'Baccalaureate' structure that is not a Baccalaureate but a refined set of academic subjects that are useful, but don't in any way reflect the breadth of school provision necessary for a good education. We must remember this period with a vengeance.
    As to lesson observation... Well schools are doing it very badly indeed. But this is not surprising. I was involved with inspections some time ago and it does require training to observe lessons professionally. SLT have not had that training. The government aren't interested in helping school leaders. SLT don't do observations well in my experience. One should never cast judgment without explaining how that judgment was reached.

    What I would like to say is that if you are a teacher now, you need a good headteacher to protect you from a government which is currently lead by someone who is basically unemployable in any job I can think of. Do stick with it if you can because teaching is an honourable profession which, in the good times, provides enormous satisfaction in the hugely important task of education tomorrow's young people.
    I am sorry to sound political because I am not. But I do believe in the honour and importance of the teaching profession and believe that we must be brave enough to ride out what I think will be a temporary madness that is gripping our government.


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