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other mentors letting students off not planning or doing Uni paperwork

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by scrummylicious, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Hi, I can understand your frustrations but think you must try and see this from the viewpoint of your Mentor. This may sound harsh but is in reality what happens. Your mentor may have been insisting on detailed lesson plans and evaluations to help you. They would have used their professional judgement regarding the level of input required and may have decided that you need to plan in more detail in order to help you improve. Furthermore, turn this frustrating experience into a positive; you have an advantage over your peers who didn't have their planning scrutinised and can now go into your second placement with much more confidence and experience of planning.

    Good Luck with your course.
  2. veni_vidi

    veni_vidi New commenter

    This happened on my course too, it's just pot luck. However i know that my 2nd placement tutor who used to correct all my lesson plans and have me resubit them, actually taught me a lot more about structure of a lesson than my first placement. Try see it as a positive, or perhaps speak to your mentor about reducing some of the workload i.e. learner profiles etc. Not long now anyway! [​IMG]
  3. doctorinthetardis

    doctorinthetardis New commenter

    At the end of the day, you're a trainee teacher and you need to do what is expected of you in order to pass. Once you're a qualified teacher, you will find you have a lot more freedom, or maybe not. But your attitude is important. Life is not fair, simple as. When you are teaching at a school in the future, you'll find there are some teachers who get away with all sorts of things, pulling sickies often leaving colleagues and/or you to cover, which isn't fair. Maybe they'll not plan as extensively as you, they might even wing it. They might turn up late or leave early and nobody pulls them up on it. It happens so get used to it. And yes it is frustrating and annoying. But you need to do what you do and do it well. Forget the unfairness. Focus on how you will succeed on this course and recgnise what works for you, and remember if for the future. Focus on being the best teacher you can be and people will respect you for that.
  4. Hi there
    I know how you feel. I am coming to the end of my first placement, and have planned all my lessons from scratch since day 1. Last weekend - when I had a 60% timetable to plan - I found out that others on my course were only planning less than half of this themselves and being allowed to use their mentor's planning for the rest.
    I have toyed with the idea of complaining because yes I do think it's unfair, and also because I don't think that my fellow students are benefiting from their experiences as fully as they could be - and I think my uni needs to know about it. However I know I will be seen as being negative. The other issue that stops me is that at the end of the day I don't know the exact circumstances of these other students. So I probably won't mention it, and am just trying to concentrate on my own experiences. But I do empathise.
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You cannot be sure that your lower marks are purely down to lack of time/sleep. You also do not know exactly what was going on in those other schools. Maybe the slapdash attitude of the mentors to paperwork was also evident in their classrooms and your fellow students actually haven't learned an awful lot about being a good teacher at all.

    I think complaining to the university because you had a conscientious and thorough mentor in your previous placement might be a bit daft...
  6. I had a complaint made against me as a mentor as the trainee I had felt I was being unfair as I expected all his paperwork to be done properly and lesson plans to be detailed. He got no where, as his tutor said I was right and he couldn't make a complaint against a mentor doing things by the book. He had been sent to me precisely because I expect things to be done properly and in return I give a lot of support and time to trainees - above and beyond the time i get allocated to it. Also I always have in mind that I am still responsible for that class' progress even if I'm not teaching them, so I do need to make sure planning etc. is done properly as my line manager will ask questions if there are any issues. Planning is crucial to a successful lesson so I always start with detailed lesson lesson plans in the first placement as they give the trainee the greatest chance of success in the classroom. With regard to you only getting 2-5 hours sleep, I would have wanted to know this as your mentor as I could have done something about it.
  7. Hi, I'm afraid that life isn't fair but let's look at the positives. When you get a job you will already have resources and lesson plans that you can reuse with perhaps a little tweaking. If you end up in a school where there are no resources or a lot of support, you will fly. You are lucky that you have a mentor who is interested in you, I wish I had when IWas on placement!

    I would just get your head down and get on with it and not worry about what others are or are not doing.

    Best of luck!
  8. cheers for the replies everyone
    " Planning is crucial to a successful lesson"
    I agree totally but having to formally write the plan up every night prevented me from this
    I was only able to spend about 2 hours a night planning 2 lessons, the rest of the time was spent formally writing the lesson plan up on a formal template and then all the other stuff. I mean come on, 8-10 A4's a night after a day's teaching is stupid
    I could have instead spent alot more of that time just planning lessons my own way, not having to write very detailed descriptions of every single thing I will be doing throughout the lesson - which I'd be too knackered to follow anyway. I'm sure all my lessons would have benefitted alot more from all that extra thought and proper reflection (not just written reflection). Not that there isn't a place for formal lesson plans just that I think once we've proved we can do them over 2-3 weeks we shouldnt have to do any more.
    I don't want to make a complaint about my mentor - they did what the uni asked them to do which is of course fair enough, but I wouldn't mind complaining about the fact there's no kind of disciplinary action for all those students who didn't do the work - after all there would be if they didn't hand in an essay. I feel like someone who's worked in a job and not been paid
    But maybe as some posters have said, things are just a bit unfair in life and we have to accept them
  9. The fault lies with you and your mentor for not talking through the issues you were having and coming to a reasonable arrangement. Your mentor was not at fault for asking you to provide exhaustive paperwork, but if you were having problems that were affecting your performance, you really ought to have said something and come to a compromise.
    The idea of reporting other students for having succeeded by doing less work than you is insane.
  10. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    But you may well have to do that in your first post and you will be teaching full time. Get used to it. I too would like to write my own plans in the way I want to, but school demands their format be followed.
    Thing is you need to have 'evidence'. There are lots of things I have to write up that are a total waste of paper, but it is 'evidence' should someone choose to ask for it.
    I had a trainee last year who I asked to show me detailed plans because her lessons showed she hadn't thought things through. Asking for these plans meant she had to think through the details and I did this throughout the placement. This year I am telling my student that she doesn't have to write such detailed plans and can switch to just a weekly one if she wants, because her teaching shows me she has planned and prepared sensibly.

    But you really have nothing at all to complain about. Throwing a strop on here is really all you can do.
  11. "The idea of reporting other students for having succeeded by doing less work than you is insane."
    don't worry I've not intention of this, I was just suprised other mentors didn't enforce Uni requirements as much as mine.
    Fair comments all and thanks again.
    I still have no issue with "planning" at all - I find it essential for me to make good lessons. It's just the formal writing up and providing loads of evidence etc and I know this is one of the oldest things to moan about on this board.
    Conclusion: School's won't change, if I can't get faster or better at this and future school's require all this paperwork then there's just no way I can carry on with this profession
  12. (TA or something probably
    here I come)

    In the mean time, yeah I deffo will raise any issues have with
    the next mentor as I can just see my self struggling to get a few hours
    sleep every night yet again in the next SE

  13. I understand your frustration but I think the question should be why have the other mentors not made their students do the same as you. I am currently in the middle of my second placement and am teaching 75% of the lessons. I have to do 3-4 page plans from scratch for each lesson, evaluate them, mark etc but I am finding the time to do it. I generally get up at 6am and work through until 9pm when I get ready and go to sleep ready for the next day.
    I just prioritise my work. The essential points are the lesson is well planned and the resources are ready. Then I make sure the marking from the previous lesson is done (especially if the same topic carries on and can help me in my next lesson) Then I complete the evaluations. Sometimes the 'less important marking and evaluations' run over until my next PPA but I always aim to finish everything for the week by the Friday so that I can plan for the next week during the weekend and make all the resources.

    The way I see it is if I can cope with all this now, it can only help when I am in charge of my class in September. I find this attitude gets me through a lot of the hard times.

    Good luck with the rest of your course, and remember sleep is very valuable!
  14. Conrad81

    Conrad81 New commenter

    I really empathise with you! I'm in the same
    Situation. It's horrible being forced to write 10 plans a week,
    As obviously the teaching suffers! Writing all that **** definitly hinders good teaching.
  15. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    No I don't at all. I know mentors are inconsistent. I attend all kinds of mentor meetings and training with those from other schools, both NQT and ITT mentors. The expectations from all of us are different.

    But then again I have also attended SLT meetings with heads and deputies from other schools. The demands placed on their permanent staff is just as inconsistent.

    Priorities for different teachers in different schools will vary. That's life. You cannot go through your entire career complaining that other people don't have do all that you do. Even within my school there are people with the same responsibility level and pay who get away with doing far less than I do and seem to get less hassle for it as well. That is how the big wide world is.
  16. There's how the world is and then there's how the world should be. We should all strive to make the world a better place. [​IMG]
  17. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Is total uniformity 'better' than individuality?
  18. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Very interesting thread. I wonder, though, how long it takes to fill in a lesson pro-forma? When you say it takes you the rest of the evening, I imagine you mean 3-4 hours (although you can't possibly mean this.) Once the activities are decided, and you've got the differentiation and outcomes decided, how long does it take to complete the notes needed for a plan? Surely not more than 15-20 minutes of typing maximum (although the planning stage does take more.)

    Of course, if you have other commitments, then I imagine this is easier said than done. However, I would always take the sleep and a half-completed plan.
  19. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Well considering "putting up displays" is on a list of tasks teachers should not be expected to do, I'd say that's fair enough!
  20. "I wonder, though, how long it takes to fill in a lesson pro-forma? "
    about 1 hour to an hour and a half for each lesson proforma and I had to complete 2 a night <u>so up to 3 hours</u>. Bear in mind it was not simply a brief outline of the lesson, we have to reference which parts of the national curriculum we're using, which skills we're developing, differentiation, seperate section for additional staff, list of resources, list of vocabulary to be devloped etc
    I'm not the fastest at paperwork and this was SE1 so factor that in though
    Anyway, so thats 2- 3 hours, factor in lesson evaluations, and learner profiles and various other bits for the file = <u>one extra hour</u>
    Also time taken to research a lesson (e.g written math methods, science knowledge etc touggh because it had been so long since I'd learnt this, this part would often take longer ) then think up a lesson plan and make resources =<u> 2-3 hours for two lessons</u>
    add marking or helping after school = <u>half an hour or so.</u>
    So that's about 5-7 hours every night. I wouldn't be home till 4.30, it'd take me till 6.30 get rest, wash, eat, get clothes ready for the next day. Then there's that 5-7 hours on top. So it was around 1.30 or so when I usually went to bed but later if I had other stuff to do after school. Up at 6.30.
    Spent the whole of Sunday completing more paperwork, sometimes saturday nights also.
    Also I was expected to act as a teaching assistant when the teacher was teaching so I couldn't get work done on marking or lesson planning then.


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