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PGCE Interview lesson

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by Bowshock, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. I have an interview for a Physics PGCE soon. Part of that interview process is a 5 minute presentation that would be "an ideal first lesson as a trainee" and "it should be based on an exciting facet of the science curriculum and engaging to the pupils". It also asks that I "guide them through the lesson, explaining what the pupils will be doing and what I will be doing".

    First of all that seems an impossible task. If I could do a lesson plan then I would be a teacher and not a trainee!

    It also seems to contain a contradiction. The "ideal" first lesson would be an overview of science and about safety but not something directly related to any specific point of the curriculum. To do anything exciting and engaging I would have to first make sure that they have gone through the safety part. So what would you do ignore the first lesson part and just cover an exciting demonstration or ignore the exciting part and meet the "ideal first lesson" requirement.

    So far what I have is a lesson plan based on safety and an overview. So I have a faked display of a lab workbench which, in groups, they examine to identify the hazards. Other groups are brainstorming what they know about physics, chemistry, biology. During the lesson they rotate around the activities and then homework is to create a set of rules for the lab. The next lesson starts by creating a set of rules based on their homework results and using their brain storm sheets to introduce the first specific topic.

    That's OK and from talking to science teachers they all said lesson one has to cover safety, but it doesn't cover the "engaging and exciting" requirement.

    Suggestions and comments?
     
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    As a trainee, you wouldn't be teaching students their first ever science lesson, because you wouldn't be in school at the beginning of September. (The PGCE starts with university based lectures/seminars to teach you some theory, before you go on your first school placement.) A trainee's first lesson is likely to be in October, so you can assume that students will know about safety in the lab and focus on the "exciting and engaging" part. Basically, you want to choose something a bit "wow", but something that won't be temperamental or difficult or require you to know the children very well (that's the "ideal first lesson" bit).

    You don't need to write a lesson plan. They just want a rough idea of what you think an exciting and engaging physics lesson might look like. You will, of course, learn a lot on the PGCE, but they are hoping you will have some ideas to start you off. For example, you should have spent time in a school and can use some of the techniques/ideas you observed to help you present your idea of a good lesson.
     
  3. Good point. In that case I shall throw away everything I've just prepared and start again.

    My pet subject is astronomy but while that has a lot of cool things they're not something I can really get into a classroom (I've been all through Farnells, Rapid and RS and none of them sell classroom packs of black holes!).

    I'll probably go with particle model and phase changes. Students can do some fairly easy phase change and pressure experiments. They can do a simple crushing a plastic bottle as it cools down in the fridge experiment. For the wow factor I've got a nice demonstration of explosively decompressing a drinks can that I do sometimes. I'll ask my wife to video me doing that tonight.

    But I'm not sure how to differentiate that for the students.
     
  4. RachelPiggott

    RachelPiggott New commenter

    I had two interviews for secondary science with biology recently. With the first I had to talk about an area of science that interested me and the next was a lesson plan, so similar to yours!

    I felt A LOT more confident with the first interview, I chose malaria which is something I know about from my job at the moment and I could answer their questions after. I fell down on the second interview because I was unprepared on how I could develop the lesson further into the curriculum and how I could repeat the subject but at a different key stage (I chose a different subject with this.) That said, it was a good learning experience for me!

    My advice would be to choose something you are comfortable with and then make sure you are prepared for questions around this subject. Your ideas about phase changes sound good, but you could also look at what's on the TES website resources for astronomy too.

    Good luck!
     
  5. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    You can't differentiatea domostration.
     
  6. While you can't differentiate a demonstration you can talk about how you differentiate the rest of the lesson surrounding that demonstration.

    In the end I offered the interviewers a choice of which they would prefer to see and they asked for the year seven first lesson and not my first lesson. Now I just have to wait to see what result pops up on the UCAS web site to see what they really thought of it. They have promised a decision today.

    The worst part of the interview was when the interviewer asked "a student is using their phone in class and refuses to stop doing so even when told to do so. What do you do?". I'm not a teacher yet, I freely admit classroom management is one of my bigger concerns how can they expect me to have an answer for that? I gave an answer but even I wasn't happy with my own answer.
     
  7. littledragon25

    littledragon25 New commenter

    They don't expect you to a be a teacher yet; they just want to know how you'd react or how you think you should react, and do you have the brain to work out a decent way of dealing with the conflict. No PGCE course is looking for the finished product. If it existed, then they wouldn't be necessary, would they? They want to see your potential.
     

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