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Observation notice and frequency

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by whatsabunny, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. whatsabunny

    whatsabunny New commenter

    I just wanted some advice on observations. Is there a guideline to how much notice we should get and how much time between?

    Essentially I got an email today saying I have an observation tomorrow, but we also have a review next week which is an observation. That's two in two weeks, and one with only a days notice. I have managed to get out of tomorrows one, they said "to be supportive they will postpone" but I'm worried I'll get another and it'll be another only 24 hours notice which doesn't give me much time.
    Also I wasn't sure if it needed to be later as I already have an observation next week as part of a whole school review.
  2. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    You can be observed at any time, there is no restriction as to when you can be observed, you could essentially be observed every day and some teachers have been, if there are serious issues with their ability or any other concerns, that is.

    My question to you is, why are you worried about an observation? As a qualified teacher and a professional, you should have no issues regarding observations and if you are observed without notice, unless of course, you doubt your own ability or you haven’t created lesson plans, which is inevitably setting you up to fail.

    As a HT, I drop into lessons all the time without no notice and sometimes I ask to see the lesson plans, every time I have done this, I have been provided with a detailed lesson plan with effective outcomes for all students. If a formal observation is to take place, I would provide a maximum of 48 hours notice. Some schools won’t give any.
  3. lantan

    lantan New commenter

    As a HT, do you expect your staff to provide you detailed lesson plans for every lesson they teach?
  4. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    No I don’t, but I expect a lesson plan in place for each lesson.
  5. Sanz1981

    Sanz1981 Occasional commenter

    You must a bag of fun
    Summerhols6, tenpast7, hhhh and 15 others like this.
  6. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

  7. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    I always have a plan but written out in note form which I understand.
    Orchid2457 and yodaami2 like this.
  8. BlondeBimbo29

    BlondeBimbo29 New commenter

    My previous headteacher valued detailed lesson plans and no notice observations too and so every single week, during their PPA afternoon, the teachers would diligently produce them (and continue to work on them at home) with the result they were too exhausted to spend their time on things that actually make a difference, like resourcing a lesson or even teaching it. Thankfully, she’s gone and her replacement has different beliefs about what makes a good teacher / good lesson.
  9. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Because some observers (unlike you :)) are not to be trusted, especially when they insist on unnecessarily weighing a pig many times!
  10. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    'Evidence of planning', to use an old OFSTED, is one thing; a detailed, fetishist lesson plan is something else. I see a LP as being an aide memoire for teachers, to help them deliver the lesson. Years ago, at some 'what Ofsted wants to see' training session, we were told that an ideal LP should be detailed enough that 'anyone should be able to walk in, off the street, and teach your lesson from it. Another such gem was, 'a LP is 'evidence', an observation is 'evidence', the lesson itself is ephemeral'.

    What would we do without such encouragement? :(
  11. mordrid

    mordrid New commenter

    Let me correct that for you Jago123:

    Nope, I’m feared in my school. You must be a poor teacher.
  12. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

  13. flyuplife

    flyuplife New commenter

    A teacher should perform teaching like an art activity not a robot or android just following a set procedures. My idea, very detailed lesson plan is just paper work and increasing teachers' workload and wasting the precious time of teachers.
    hhhh, baitranger, Alice K and 8 others like this.
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You need to get out a bit more. There are many good reasons for teachers to be worried - as a quick scan of the last five years of Workplace Dilemmas unfortunately shows.
    vannie, teachers-pet, hhhh and 8 others like this.
  15. Qwerty139

    Qwerty139 New commenter

    Really ?
    catbefriender likes this.
  16. Orchid2457

    Orchid2457 New commenter

    Some of the most atrocious teachers I’ve ever crossed paths with are amazing at planning lessons on paper. Oh yes they know what to write on an A4 sheet of paper during PPA time with a coffee. Back in the classroom, with 30+ real life children who are not aware of the teacher’s script however, things start to go wrong...Red group can’t remember what a subordinate clause is nevermind write one in the character of Harry Potter. A good teacher will change course and do more modelling, maybe change the activies to match where the children are at, increase questioning etc rendering the ‘detailed lesson plan’ a complete waste of time from the beginning. A bad teacher will stick ridgely to the lesson plan because the lesson plan is gospel.
  17. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    I really object to this idea that "an observation is nothing to be feared." Of course it is. You have someone sitting in your classroom, picking apart your lesson bit by bit, probably looking for the negatives. Just the very fact that there is someone else there makes me nervous - and I teach with my classroom door open and have the store cupboard at the back of my class so I'm more than used to people coming and going!

    @jago123 I'm assuming you're a primary head - and I'm afraid that this approach is part of the reason why so many teachers are leaving. Yes, it's great for you that they have a fully plotted lesson plan, but how long has the teacher spent putting it together? Does it actually add value to the lesson? Or does it act as another wee box to tick? I know that primary teachers spend infinitely more time planning, replanning and over resourcing lessons compared to us secondary teachers (I'm married to a primary teacher) but I simply don't see how all this extra produces a better learning outcome for primary kids than my one-line scrawl in my planner and my lesson PPT (with LOs and SCs) does for my Y7s or Y8s.
    Summerhols6, hhhh, Rachelmbx and 9 others like this.
  18. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Alice K, agathamorse and Bumptious like this.
  19. lantan

    lantan New commenter

    So what happens when your saff have the plan "in place" in their teacher planner?
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    You can't be serious? I didn't even do a lesson plan when I was observed as part of my last interview. The head loved the lesson, could see progress and offered me the job. Whose benefit are these detailed lesson plans for?

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