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Job interview help (Shakespeare's Sonnet 130)

Discussion in 'English' started by crh367, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. Hi there,
    First time posting on here and I am hoping for some responses on teaching techniques and resources to use for a job interview next week. The scenario is teaching Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 to a group of AS students in their first term of the course. I have some ideas but as I have just qaulified I don't know many English teachers to bounce ideas off.
    Any ideas and advice would be really appreciated.
    Hope you guys can help.
  2. Go to the site of the board they do and look to see how this fits in to their course if it does, if it doesn't see how you can make it. Highlight key areas of assessment and think about how you can focus your lesson on one of those areas.
    Make sure that your focus is clear to them and you are pitching your lesson at the right level. I would ring and ask what they have done so far and what the range of ability is - this will make you look organised and capable. When they give you a sixth form class to teach it's usually because they want to be sure you can teach at a high enough level. So I would make sure you know the text inside out and then do something fairly straightforward to access it. I had something similar for my last interview (at a grammar school and I got the job) I just did straightforward think, pair, share activities and pushed, pushed, pushed for a higher level response. I started by saying I was on interview and wanted to work at their school but wanted my lesson to be of genuine use to them so I had focused on..... and off we went.

    HTH. F.
  3. Oh, and just to add - this is a very easy sonnet, so take care not to make the lesson too easy. Look for a challenge.
  4. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Really? I agree about looking for challenge, though.
    Did you say how long the lesson is?
    I'd look at the sonnet contextually - comparing it with the Petrarchan sonnets it's parodying.
  5. Perhaps I didn't put that right! It's easy to produce a low level lesson on that sonnet I think. Spotting the language features and then 'working out' the subversion, but that's a little simple for AS.
  6. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    True. Maybe why that's why it's been chosen for an AS lesson as they are likely to have studied at at GCSE. It's part of both AQA A and B (legacy) after all.
  7. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Are you sure that's what he's saying? See my comment about Petrarch above. Don't fall into the trap of assuming the sonnet is in any way autobiographical, unless you are Stephen Greenblatt.
    I use that for GCSE - I'm not sure of the relevance at AS. It's pretty long, too. Take up a lot of your obs. time.
    Beware 'If hairs be wires'- it doesn't mean what it at first appears.
    If the class is about to become an AS class, they will still be in GCSE mode - expecting to be spoon fed. As I said, they are likely to know the poem, so it might be an idea to get their ideas about it and build on that.

  8. How long do you have? I don't think it means beauty is in the eye of the beholder at all, I would think carefully about that.
  9. This might help. http://www.stthomasu.ca/inkshed/inkshed22/130.htm Before deciding what wizzy thigs to do, be certain about your material and what you want them to learn.
  10. Thank you all for your feedback. I'm thinking if the students are in GCSE mode still, I think by using the Catherine Tate clip might be useful. Also, any more inventive ways...I do not have to teach the lesson. I only have to present to a panel about what range of techniques / resources i would use teaching this AS class.

    I'm getting confused about how to make it challenging without alienating the students. So far I am thinking, structure, meaning, and iambic pentameter. I would have around seven questions on a sheet for the students to consolidate their learning.

    Any Petrarchan poems that would be good to compare or am i becoming too challenging?

    I want the presentation to be inventive and show that the students would be learning throughout. I keep thinking about the assumptions I would have to make which is that they would all be within the first term. So keeping it simple, and expanding on some more complex stuff like the iambic pentameter would be good?

    Any more ideas or feedback guys. You are certainly giving me food for thought.

  11. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    I don't think iambic pentameter is at all challenging. They should have covered this in some depth at GCSE.
    Sounds like a work sheet to me. Not really AS level teaching.
    How will the Tate sketch add to their understanding? All she does is to recite the sonnet very fast.
  12. So how would you approach the lesson guys?
  13. I was just thinking the Tate sketch would make them engaged.
  14. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Fine for GCSE - not at AS.
    Which board is it? What are the AOs you should be addressing?
    I'd guess, form, structure and language
    Critical analysis
    Different views of the sonnet
    as a bare minimum.
    I can't see how Tate fits into any of those, unless you want to consider contemporary views of Shakespeare, though that one is pretty uniformly negative.
    For A level you need to be encouraging pupils to think for themselves. You should be asking them to challenge their assumptions, thinking of alternative interpretations and justifying their views, not doing mechanical tasks.

  15. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    OP did say she'd just qualified and is obviously lacking in confidence, I suggest looking at earlier advice - forget about activities for a minute. Check the spec you would b teaching and start by thinking about what you would want students to learn, not what you want them to do. Teach yourself the poem so that you know it well and construct a lesson around what the students should learn, know and understand by the end of it. I can't see the point of the Catherine Tate clip either.
  16. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Sorry if I appear a bit harsh, but A level is still A level.
    Couldn't agree more.


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