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Learning walks, impromptu observations, strange vibes...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by slingshotsally, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Hi all,
    I am working short term to long term supply in a primary school with a particulary tough class. I started in January and I have noticed that there seem to be lots of learning walks etc going on. No notice is given, which I understand to be normal for learning walks. Usually these are conducted at leas twice a week and with minimal fuss.
    However, for the second time this month, I have had an unannounced observation for about 20- 25mins by DHT and a Consultant. During this time, the 2 adults were interviewing children about their learning, the consultant went off on a tangent, just took over the lesson. He started to ask questions not related to the LO or topic- the children went silent. Before they came in there was subject related murmur with ch focussed on their work. After they came in you could have heard a pin drop.
    Neither asked to see my planning nor did anyone stay to give either feedback or seek to clarify why I had planned particular learning to take place for lesson they had walked in on. It was bizarre. I should also add that I have only had this group for 5days as sets were changed at the beginning of the week.
    As a result I asked for feedback as this is the second time I have been observed since January.
    Apart from that I had another member of SLT "popping in" for vague and innocous reasons- collecting a laptop, names of children who had gone to toilet(?), 3 girls for a chat (?). It happened a couple of times yesterday, 3 times today.
    Warning bells are beginning to ring-Is it bullying or am I being a bit defeatist? I am just wondering if this is normal for short term to long term supply jobs.
    Please let me know what you think.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I've done quite a fewlong-term stints at one school during the past few years. The school was classed as 27/27 categories outstanding and learning walks, people poppoing in was part of the way the school was run. For example if the HoY/DH/ Head wanted to have a quiet chat about some incident they would often just pop in to the lesson, ask for the particular children and take them to have a quiet discussion. All was normal and acceptable (mind you, years ago, my first 2 schools where I worked F/T were like this too), minimial fuss and the Head certainly had a good handle on 'what was going on in the school', could predict where problems might arise before anything came to crisis point. It didn't phase me at all- I usually keep my classroom door open anyway, so anyone going past can see what's happening in my class, unless I'm showing a film clip or playing music etc. which would disturb others. This was not just me by the way, but normal practice for all teachers within the school- very much 'open door' policy.
    So I would not be thinking 'warning bells' at all, but. 'what a good Head and SMT leadership team, to spend their time actually monitoring what's going on in school rather than doing paperwork in their offoces."
    As to the planning issue, the real crunch point is the planning is there to guide you - the success is what actually goes on in the classroom.
  3. stan-dards

    stan-dards New commenter

    The people who do these walks observations etc & dont give feedback are just ignorant.These SLT have in the main got to their positions by being hopeless in the classroom & then going on all the courses over the next few years to get out of the class.I would ask them about your lessons if they havent got the manners to give you feedback
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Not many that I've had the fortune to know! I realise I must have been very fortunate to have worked with superb colleagues.
    Sometimes feedback isn't necessary, it's just informal 'checking everything's as it should be'.


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