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Online Lesson Observations and Cover

Discussion in 'Independent' started by andywhizz1, May 3, 2020.

  1. andywhizz1

    andywhizz1 New commenter

    Hi

    I have been streaming live lessons for over a week before the Easter break and now 2 weeks after. I am using Teams and although a steep learning curve I think I am delivering productive lessons given the limited time to prepare for this.

    I am concerned that online lesson observation of these streamed lessons are now taking place given the unusual nature of the situation. We have also been asked to cover online lessons for staff who are unable to deliver lessons.

    I have no issues with delivering live lessons but wondered if other schools are doing observations and require cover in this remote learning environment.

    Many Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Surely observation to support better teaching and learning has to be beneficial? What can you learn from someone else's pedagogy in this new environment, where most of us are beginners?
     
  3. andywhizz1

    andywhizz1 New commenter

    Thanks for your answer. Are you having online observations as part of your PDR process at the moment of your online lessons and are you having to provide online cover for absent colleagues? That was my question. Trying to be polite here but I known a lot of SLT have virtually no teaching right now and whilst observations can be helpful in the current context I would question whether this additional pressure and cover on teachers who are trying to do their best in novel circumstances is positive. Only been in the job for 25 years so probably know nothing useful.
     
    steely1 and Summerhols6 like this.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Cover seems perfectly fine.
    Not sure about observations; depends who does them and why.
     
  5. moontitan

    moontitan New commenter

    What a load of tosh. Staff are clinging on trying to survive this period, especially some of us dinosaurs. If I had an online observation, I would kick the observer out of the call.
     
  6. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I would cite " unplanned technical issues " and stop providing live lessons. State schools' unions advise against them. I'm continually amazed by the lack of compassion and thought that some schools are showing at this time. Perhaps this needs to be added to the growing list of CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS.
     
    Treesa and steely1 like this.
  7. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    It all depends on the purpose of observation. If as seems to be the case in some schools it's a complicated stick to beat people with, then I'd agree that it is a bad idea now, or at any time.
    If its purpose is professional development, support, coaching, then in these unprecedented times it's of more benefit than ever. Peer observation, observation by many of teachers who are making a roaring success of online teaching, not just top-down observation could help everyone improve their practice.
     
  8. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    What value is an online cover lesson? Surely the students should be set work to do independently. Digital babysitting.

    As for observations, what is the purpose and is it transparent? Judgement? Monitoring? Development? Given the short-term, training-free emergency nature of our situation, I would be inviting my leadership team to take a hike if they suggested observing or monitoring my practice in any way shape or form. Ridiculous.
     
  9. Boardingmaster

    Boardingmaster New commenter

    We arent doing observations but are in theory down for cover (though to my knowledge this hasnt happened yet). In the interest of cover during the pandemic (when we werent sure if a significant number of teachers might end up getting ill), the department has been very prescriptive about what should be taught in a given week (we usually have very flexible schemes of work) so that if someone is absent, their pupils will simply sign into the zoom lesson of the teacher of the adjacent set.
     
  10. Boardingmaster

    Boardingmaster New commenter

    i guess that makes sense for a one off type cover eg emergency childcare or a bug, the fear is that if a teacher ends up with coronavirus they could be off for a few weeks, in which case setting independent work might not be suitable
     
    drvs and caterpillartobutterfly like this.
  11. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Ah, a supply situation rather than a cover one.
     
    jarndyce and Boardingmaster like this.
  12. Shootsville69

    Shootsville69 New commenter

    As a member of SMT I currently have access to all teams and therefore can “observe” all lessons. This is intended to help our staff, especially in protecting them from some of the more extreme email complaints from parents who expect a lot (possibly too much) from the current situation. Like all observations, the use ultimately depends on the quality and intentions of the observer, but I wouldn’t be alarmed by it.
     
    Skeoch likes this.
  13. Summerhols6

    Summerhols6 Occasional commenter

    Please send your comments to the Unions! You are not very clued up on what the Unions are saying about online teaching.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  14. andywhizz1

    andywhizz1 New commenter

    Thanks. That is very interesting. Do your colleagues know that you are able to observe their online teaching and have they given permission ? This is a strange new world and not sure what protocol or indeed legislation applies eg GDPR...
     
  15. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Only possibly? You are doing well. The attitude from a loud minority in our parent body has been nothing short of despicable. Unfortunately we have a very weak and divided leadership team at the moment and the parents have bullied them into u-turns and evolutions to the point that we now have an offer that we can't deliver on: they're complaining about that too.

    It has broken my relationship with the school community and I will be looking to move on as soon as reasonably possible.
     
    ACOYEAR8 likes this.
  16. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    It's strange what different schools consider to be " help " and " support" - alongside that other favourite " guidance". Micromanagement and a total absence of compassion and empathy are beginning to gather pace in an effort to keep up with the four horsemen.
     
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The coronavirus response by our leadership team has done this for several teachers in our school. Coupled with pay freezes and no TPS, a fair few are feeling rather dissatisfied.
     
    drvs likes this.
  18. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    I sometimes wonder if we work at the same school you know, our experiences often seem very similar.
     
  19. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Stranger things.......................
    Almost like the plot of Die Fledermaus.
     

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