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Observations

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by irishpsychic, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    Was told that the head would be observing me tomorrow morning, with the worst of my classes (told at break time).
    Had an observation after break from mentor this morning, and another last Thursday.
    Is this reasonable notice, and is it reasonable to be observed in a class with substantial known problems.

     
  2. Just do your best. It's not necessarily your fault if the students misbehave - the observer will be looking for how well you deal with it, so just make sure you follow whatever your consequence system is.

    You'll also probably find the behaviour is much improved with the head in the lesson anyway.
     
  3. oldsizenines

    oldsizenines New commenter

    Don't take this as gospel, but I'm sure I heard somewhere that if it's formal (i.e. they sit down, stay, and use a formal obs feedback sheet), you need 24 hours notice.
     
  4. Don't think so, nqtea1011. I think you can be observed any time, with no notice. I have been :(
     
  5. oldsizenines

    oldsizenines New commenter

    Wow, I had no idea. That's NOT cool!
     
  6. That's just the suggestion of the union though, isn't it? It doesn't say that it's the law.

    I have been observed three times with no notice, had formal observation forms, judgements, and performance meetings based on them.
     
  7. My academy doesn't recognise unions :(

    I had another one today and it's so demoralising. I've gone from loving life and school, to searching university courses and job adverts for a career I might be more suited to. I think I came into teaching at the wrong time - I want to teach, not jump through hoops every second of every day for fear that I might be observed in the milisecond that I'm not hoop jumping. It's making me so twitchy.

    Basically what happened is...

    I got told that I'm not good enough at one thing, and I have to fix it or I'll fail. I was shocked because my first mentor ignored me and wrote a glowing report so I didn't realise that things were so bad. They gave me a few weeks to sort it out, when really I needed all term. They told me then to lesson plan less to sort it out.

    So I lesson planned less (detail), and two days later they sent someone else to observe me with no notice with a focus on my lesson plans, and I got absolutely destroyed in a meeting that night for my level of planning. I went home and sobbed.

    Then I had another observation where they focused on something else and told me to fix that and drop something else.

    Today I had another observation with no warning. I feel sick and I'm convinced that I'm either going to get told off for dropping the things I was told to drop to fix the new problems, or that I'm going to be told to drop even more stuff I haven't yet fixed to fix something new that's been identified.

    I feel angry that my first mentor ignored me and left me in this position without identifying a single problem in the first term. Mostly I just feel... a mad panic. Like whenever I think about school my chest goes tight and I feel like I'm going to have an asthma attack (but I don't). I dread going into school because I never know when I'm going to have an observation or a meeting, or who'll do it or what they'll look at and what the focus will be. I don't know where I stand or whether I will be recommended towards the standards or not. I know I don't fail in the second term officially but it will still be devastating to have that recorded when I'm trying my hardest and getting nothing but paranoia for it.

    After the first unannounced observation I talked about it to my HOD. He seemed really understanding and talked about how much he hated it too, and how it wasn't productive and was unfair. I asked about specific groups or topics I could be observed with, because I'd already been seen lots with the same classes. He agreed and we seemed to agree almost on a date and time for it! And then he turned up to do my unannounced observation today! With one of the classes I've been observed with twice already.

    I just don't know what to do :( It's becoming so destructive, being watched every second.
     

  8. oh god, I have no idea why there are no paragraphs. I usually have paragraphs. Sorry.
     
  9. Also, the above all happened in the course of one month. I did get a few 'inadequates' on a lesson observation (not overall though!) but that was because it was only a partial lesson observation and because they observed me with stuff I was told to temporarily do less of. Every other lesson plan has had mostly good, the odd outstanding, and a mixture of satisfactory. I know we shold be aiming higher than satisfactory but I feel like I'm being hated and destroyed for getting an average of 'good'! And I feel as though I'm expected to fix thigns yesterday and aren't being given any time to fix anything. Especially considering it's GCSE marking time and I'm here until almost 6 every night with GCSE students, report time for all years, and I have no internet at home. I can't believe I'm sitting here complaining when I'd been led to believe things were going so well :( Sorry to hijack the OP's thread.
     
  10. What a nightmare New Strings.
    It soudns like you're doing well. Are they basing their judgements of you on something outsideo f lesson observations? You should ask them what evidence they are looking for as well as lesson observations.
    Maybe eventually, but it really annoys me that a lot of people seem to consider 'satisfactory' to mean the exact opposite of what it really means.
    You say you are unsure whether they will pass or fail you - could you ask them? (be prepared though - i asked my mentor and didn't like the answer very much)
    If there are concerns about your progrses there should be an action plan in place - is there?
     
  11. I had a meeting yesterday with a deputy head. I was basically told that I will pass the year somehow, but that I might not be a good fit for the school and might end up finding myself a new job over the summer, which they will support me with extensively. I've heard something like this many times on here but never expected to find myself in that position.

    They have commented a few times on what they've seen when "walking through" the room, like me standing at the wrong part of the room and things like that.

    After one of my lessons yesterday I asked "What do I have to do to get myself from a fail to a pass for this termly assessment?" and he (the HOD) responded that I need to improve my presence and teaching. That's like a kid saying "Miss, what can I do to get my D to a C in geography?" and I respond "Have better handwriting and learn more geography."

    I'm so frustrated :( I'm having observations every week and I sitll don't know what exactly I'm supposed to do or how I'll know when I achieved those targets.
     

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