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outstanding lesson observation

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by eedwards, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. hi guys, i wonder if you can help, i consistantly have my lesson observations graded 2 with aspects of 1. i am striving for the outstanding lesson, i have been told that i amlost always plan for the lesson to be outstanding, but buts of the delivery just dont make it. i am looking for video clips of outsyanding maths lessons so that i can work out what is missing from my lessons, i have asked for advice form my observer (head of faculty) and they are also struggling to home in what it actually is that stops my lesson from being outstanding but " it just doesnt feel like an outstanding lesson"

    please if anyone came send me some links to outstanding lesson videos i would be so greatfull and i have spent days searching and have not found anything suitable.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. hi guys, i wonder if you can help, i consistantly have my lesson observations graded 2 with aspects of 1. i am striving for the outstanding lesson, i have been told that i amlost always plan for the lesson to be outstanding, but buts of the delivery just dont make it. i am looking for video clips of outsyanding maths lessons so that i can work out what is missing from my lessons, i have asked for advice form my observer (head of faculty) and they are also struggling to home in what it actually is that stops my lesson from being outstanding but " it just doesnt feel like an outstanding lesson"

    please if anyone came send me some links to outstanding lesson videos i would be so greatfull and i have spent days searching and have not found anything suitable.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. When I read posts like this I sometimes feel a little saddened. Perhaps we are all just trying too hard and the heart and soul is being lost from lessons. I saw a TV program on black holes recently and spent 20 minutes at the start of the lesson telling pupils about it. I really went off on one because the programme had fascinated me so much. The pupils honestly seemed fascinated because I was so animated. We then went back to what we should be doing but at the start of the next lesson some of them asked, "Can we hear more about black holes?". Also a pupil who I had never taught approached me in the corridor and wanted to talk about them. Now we have done some work on fractals because I felt it is mathematically interesting even though it isn't in the National Curriculum. (I will be trying to tie it in with work on proportion but if I don't does it matter? The pupils are enjoying it and seem to lap up the standard work more quickly when we have a 'normal' lesson.)

    Too many teachers seem to have been brainwashed into thinking that every lesson has to be a 3 part lesson with rigid timings. Even more are no longer prepared to take risks. Okay, when you take a risk you will sometimes come a cropper but where is the fun in being Mr Average.
    It sounds terrible, and not what a Head of Department should be saying, but I am increasingly finding that my best lessons are often the ones I plan least because I am more creative and more responsive to the mood and needs of the class.
     
    Miss_Bungle likes this.
  4. It was an excellent programme, wasn't it [​IMG]

    re the OP ... Do the kids learn in your lessons ... if so you are doing it right ... stop worrying

    If you want to have an outstanding lesson obs ... ensure that learning is really visible ... lots of questioning by you and the class
     
  5. Teachers TV has a series called 'From Good to Outstanding' that shows an OFSTED inspector observing a lesson and grading it as good and then coming back a few weeks later to see if the teacher has reached outstanding. In the meantime, the teacher is given advice from subject specialists etc. You can access it on the teachers TV website.
    Hope this helps!x
     
  6. I am in my second year of teaching and have become completely disillusioned with lesson observations and their gradings. What is outstanding to one observer, is not to another and the lack of criteria for outstanding make it difficult to achieve and it feels like more luck than judgement. Also it seems that one tiny flaw can make an otherwise outstanding lesson just 'good', which is extremely disheartening...I think 'oustanding' should be re-named 'perfect' because that's what it means in real life, at least in my school.
    Also disheartening is other teachers achieving 'outstanding' when you know for a fact the lesson they taught is no better than ones you and other colleagues teach and are graded 'good'. It is also frustrating when lazy, mediocre teachers plan an all-singing observation lesson which is graded as outstanding, when teachers like myself deliver good lesson all the time and this is valued less than a teacher who teaches satisfactory lessons most of the time but pulls an oustanding out of the back when the situation requires it.
    I have yet to be motivated by the current system. I have never achieved anything less than a good, even during training and NQT year, yet I place no value in the system. I am not motivated to go for oustanding because I don't feel it's achievable, and even if I do achieve it, I don't value its worth - it will be because things just clicked on the day, or the observer was in a good mood.
     
  7. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    atics
    "....the lack of criteria for outstanding make it difficult to achieve and it feels like more luck than judgement."
    You HOD should have pointed out to you the following
    http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Publications-and-research/Browse-all-by/Documents-by-type/Thematic-reports/Mathematics-understanding-the-score
    This booklet contains examples of lessons observed by OFSTED and the grading received with detailed reasons why. For each lesson it gives ideas how the lesson could be improved and turned into good/oustanding.
    There is also a VERY deatailed list of features that a prevailent in GOOD mathematics lesson. They are very clear and detailed and any trained obsever should be able to quickly see which features of the lesson come through. The report suggests "Teaching that encompasses most of the good features may well be outstanding. "

    I encourage you (if you haven't already) to have a good read as it is full of expert advice.
     
  8. Thanks for the link but ironically my HOD has handed copiesof that publication out and we have discussed it on a training day. However this is evidently ignored when it comes to observations and the school's observation proforma is not set up to look at lessons in this way. Sorry for the negativity, it is perhaps just me/my department/school!
     
  9. I feel that the notion of 'an outstanding lesson' actually hides what is much more important - the persistant quality of lessons taught to students.
    I've seen staff who can 'turn an outstanding lesson on upon request' but whose students make relatively poor progress. Why? Perhaps they are too eratic? Perhaps the non-observaed lessons are of a significantly lower standard.
    I've seen other staff who are solidly 'good' in lesson observations but whose students make consistantly outstanding progress. Why? Because they consistantly deliver good lessons day in, day out; week in, week out.
    I know that I very rarely teach an outstanding lesson (and then more by luck than anything else) - I don't let it bother me because I consistanty teach good lessons and my students make excellent progress.
    I'm consistantly refining my practice to improve but the outstanding lessons that I have observed have just been at a level that I can't conceiveably reach on a regular basis.

     
  10. Thank you so much for that post MathsHOD! I feel exactly the same and feel teaching good lessons consistently can create outstanding outcomes from students. It is frustrating that this is not recognised by senior/middle management who are more concerned ticking a box for three snapshots of performance over the year. I am trying not to let it bother me!
     
  11. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Good to see someone else saying what I have thought for a long time.
    As far as I can see the progress of the students is much more important than a one-off grading. The only Ofsted observation I have had was for 20 minutes. Surely their grading means a lot less than the impressive value-added that the group achieved?
    Having said that I do think there are a lot of good points in Ofsted's Understanding the Score document. These need to be incorporated in most lessons though, not just for performance management observation.
     
  12. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    Lessons observations are a joke. Teachers behave differently, pupils behave differently and observers judge differently.

    The gradings are meaningless and the words used demoralising. I have the best value added in my department but on the day I panicked and got an unstaisfactory (with a very difficult year 11 class). As a result I had LA follow up etc treating me like a complete ****** who couldnt teach to save his life.
    On the other hand the worst teacher in the school, widely regarded as incompetent as no classroom manangement skills what so ever got a good - kids behaved with inspector in the room and a special effort was made.
    I KNOW who is a good and who isnt in my department from my own regular but informal observations just walking past the room etc., feedback from parents and studnets and the progress made by the pupils over the year. Any good manager (in any working environment) could do the same.

    So my opinion is that if your line manager is happy with what you do on a daily basis then who gives s stuff ?
     
  13. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    My school has a fairly simple policy to lesson obeservations. You get three random lesson observations in your first year, and then that is it for more or less the rest of your time here.
    I personally detest lesson observations, precisely because of the reasons mentioned above. You can fairly easily get a very good rating - as many staff do - and still be a useless teacher day in day out. A common practice in many schools I know is that the teachers prepare a model lesson with the students and whenever the lesson is being observed, out comes the "special lesson"
    One of the more effective policies of monitoring teachers that I was part of involved absolutely no lesson observations. Instead once a term a couple of lessons per class were used as feedback lessons. Essentially the students had to tell the teacher, anonymously or otherwise, what they felt about the teaching, what they would like to see changed and what they preferred as it was. The teacher then had a lesson to answer all the points raised and explain why he or she was doing what he or she was doing.
    An important part of this was that the feedback was private between the teacher and the class. No-one else could see it or act upon it. If there was a serious issue then there were other procedures in place to deal with that.
     
  14. Thanks for all your help and advice, i do understand what you are saying about lesson observations not really showinga true representation - however my head of department knows that i am at least a very good teacher and like i sayed earlier i can fequently plan outstanding lessons but i think for my own personal satifaction i really want to have a worthless piece of paper that says that i have taught an outstanding lesson.

    i am currently reading the "whats the score" booklet that has been suggested and i am continuing to try to achieve the unobtainalbe "perfect"

    again thanks[​IMG]
     
  15. <font size="2">We are constantly told that we need to teach for the unknown. We don't know what skills will be required in the future and for what jobs and lifestyles, yet the most successful of us teachers are those whose students achieve well under the present system! As we don't know where we're going and what will be there when we arrive I assume we don't know what a good lesson looks like? A bit Donald Rumsfeld.</font>
     
  16. I settle for the majority staying in the class, not attacking rach other (verbally or physically) and about half getting something written in their books. There is no way to get an "outstanding" with the majority of my classes. Or even a "good".

    cyolba :)
     
  17. Hi, I don't suppose someone has an electronic copy of the Ofsted example lesson booklet mentioned above as I'm afraid the link above no longer works.

    Thanks
     
  18. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

  19. The Ofsted booklet 'Understanding the Score' is very useful, but was published well before the latest style of inspection, and the perception is that much has changed - certainly the concept of 'satisfactory' has now gone, and at the same time the judgments of 'good' and 'outstanding' are ever harder to achieve.

    Is anyone aware of an updated version of this booklet? Or a source that sets out current Ofsted general classroom expectations specifically interpreted for the Maths classroom?
     
  20. strawbs

    strawbs Occasional commenter

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