1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Ridiculous comments given at lesson observations

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Jolly_Roger1, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. drek

    drek Star commenter

    @whitestag now I know why my mom used to call me a little devil, despite my insistence that my lil brothers discovered all sorts of ways to turn her hair grey.... by themselves with no help from me :)
    whitestag likes this.
  2. sunshineonarainyday

    sunshineonarainyday Occasional commenter

    A conversation between an MFL colleague and an Ofsted inspector, several years ago:
    "The lesson was good, but your grammar was weak."
    "Your grammar. That isn't when you use that tense."
    "Which tense?"
    "You know. That tense. The past."
    "Do you speak Spanish?"
    "No. But I know your Spanish grammar is terrible."
  3. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Following an observation, my friend, a reception class teacher, was informed that her storage boxes were too bright.
  4. joannagb

    joannagb Occasional commenter

    I once got locked into my classroom with asst head observing me, I was told that Ofsted would therefore have judged the lesson unsat due to health and safety, but that he could scrape a "sat" (in the days of 5 possible judgements). Even though I produced several emails between me and the site team to prove that I'd raised concerns about this numerous times. I therefore gave up caring about observations, it was really quite a liberating experience.

    Here's a thought for those of you concerned about being unfair yourselves when observing others, how about a two tier approach:
    1. This is what I think...
    2. This is what a (insert swear word here) would say...
    caress and Northern_Miss like this.
  5. josienig

    josienig Star commenter

    Too much lustre?
    gegrayson likes this.
  6. NarnianRoyalty

    NarnianRoyalty Occasional commenter

    After my first Estyn observation, a 30 minute reading session followed by the literacy hour, the almost-retired gentleman commented that the pace dropped a bit and I seemed to be 'lagging' by the end of the session. My head mentioned that she felt this was largely due to the fact that I was eight and a half months pregnant...
  7. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Nowt to do with lustre, the boxes were in primary colours.

    What a disgrace, having bright colours in a reception class! Would beige be preferable?
    laurieboo, scott1980 and josienig like this.
  8. andersoncouncil

    andersoncouncil New commenter

    A favourite from my time in FE-The observation lasted about half an hour out of a 90 minute lesson. It was apparently great, but could only be deemed satisfactory as the class were working in silence on an exam question for most of the 30 minutes... the day before the exam.
    I was also challenged because about a third of an Access to HE class had been given a referral on their first essay. I did try to point out that this was the first academic work some of the group had done in over 20 years and very few had done so on the second assignment and that neither piece of work had any relation to the observed lesson, but this again apparently indicated satisfactory.

    I don't work there anymore!
  9. burntoutteacher

    burntoutteacher Occasional commenter

    My most recent 'development action' for my 'teaching and learning' was "please do not call children wallies." No really, he wrote that down :D:D:D
  10. nical73

    nical73 Occasional commenter

    Old inspection and grading.
    Had a brilliant year 6 class at the time. Had done role play the day before when children were working collaboratively in groups on flashback stories. Following this, children asked to work in pairs on planning stories. Fantastic ideas. Ofsted entered next day half way through a writing lesson. Had missed the input, previous role play and paired discussions. Stayed for 15 minutes in middle. Told me my lesson was outstanding but could only give it satisfactory for behaviour of the children. I asked why and was told because they were writing in silence. This class chose to work like this when asked to write. I told her that she had missed the role play the day before, the input and paired work. She also missed peer assessment time at the end of the lesson. She said Ok and changed it to outstanding!!!! Unreal!
  11. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Working with a group of able children on a maths role play game in FS. All going well and observer beaming and joining in. New ASD child who wasn't yet verbal at school and didn't interact with other children, edged over and started to count verbally. Used the opportunity to include him, adapting questions as appropriate.
    Feedback: I should have grouped by ability. I did.
    Another child was allowed to join, yes because this was the first time he had interacted and we were only discussing yesterday how concerned we were.
    You need to differentiate your questions. I did you have only watched one group.
    But you asked them all the same high level question at the end. Because I judged correctly that they were all capable of answering it, including the ASD child and also showed progress and I wanted to stretch them seeing as you are always banging on about stretching our most able children.
    After one of my one and only definitely outstanding lesson in FS. Written feedback from head who had only ever taught Y6. :That was a fantastic lesson, it was fun and enjoyable, the children all made progress, you differentiated well and you stretched the most able children.
    Grading: Good.
    Even Better If: Carry on doing what you are doing. (Cos I wouldn't know outstanding if i saw it, don't understand FS and never give outstanding to keep people on their toes.)
  12. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    You mean you were actually allowed to discuss or at least interact in a feedback session!!!. In all the ones I had there was no opportunity to say anything. If I tried to comment it was absolutely clear that was not my role and indeed could be seen as insubordination. (Usually, I guess, because the person giving feedback was insecure in what they were saying.)
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Great thread.

    I don't have anything to match many of the ***! moments I've just had while reading it.

    My last ever Ofsted inspection was with a yr.13 group doing a core practical about a month before the exam. There was about a 60% chance that this exact practical would come up on the exam in which case they needed to be familiar with the method, variables, expected results etc. and be able to discuss and explain them in context. They were a small group who got well with each other, were bright and confident with practical work and were conscientious. We also had only this lesson (double) to do this practical.

    I was given a satisfactory even though in my eyes it was near perfect. I was told I should have allowed them to discover their own method "what if it hadn't worked?" (there was a good chance it could go off on a tangent), they would learn more and you could discuss that next lesson perhaps?

    I ended by thanking her for her feedback and saying that if I were to teach it again in the same circumstances I would do it in exactly the same way. I could understand that she didn't know the context in advance but didn't understand why she still thought she knew better even after I had explained the circumstances.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I never went for the feedback. Not after the first one.

    Didn't see the point.
  15. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    I was once observed teaching a music lesson by a member of SLT (not a music specialist) and was given a 4 as the students had made no progress during the lesson.

    When I challenged this, she then said that 'in all fairness, I don't know if they made progress or not as I don't do music'.

    long story short, got a specialist in, taught the same lesson to another class, graded as outstanding. Have never received anything less than a good grading from numerous OFSTED inspectors and couldn't believe that this was coming from leadership!
  16. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I too got to the point of ignoring OFSTED feedback sessions after 2 different inspectors lied about what was said in the feedback.

    I tried to avoid feedback from other observations ignoring e-mails and the 'just pop into my office for your feedback etc (unless I respected the observer, I thought it was kinder for both of us) but I just got cornered when I was marking in my classroom.
    laurieboo likes this.
  17. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Keep'em coming folks! This is my Treat Of The Day.


    Best wishes

    rachelpaula008 likes this.
  18. miss303

    miss303 New commenter

    I was once given a satisfactory because the sun was glaring on the board and the pupils could not see the presentation.....I was three weeks into the job, which to get I had to show evidence of 3 previous outstanding observations. I shouldn't have bothered and just bought a blind!

    However this was the same observer who came to the next observation with the judgement boxes already filled in. I was 'satisfactory' before I had even started teaching. Before I left (not soon enough) I got an 'outstanding'. Apparently it was all down to the wonderful feedback and coaching this person had given me......
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    That's the point. They mark you down so they can later mark you UP and claim your progress as their own!

    Whatever gave them such an idea, I wonder? ;)

    (Because no teacher ever, in order to get ahead in the data-game, underreported one child's attainment one term only to show remarkable improvement during the third!)
  20. colinbillett

    colinbillett Occasional commenter

    Reminds me of one I got. In a three hour lesson of post 16 learners, they got a coffee break, whilst I did some quick checking of progress, ie marking some of what they had just done. I put out the next activity for each learner on their desks, and when they returned I said 'just finishing this - carry on with the new task', which they did without a word being said. I was 'corrected' for not supervising them at all times. I thought it exemplar evidence of learners taking control, and exemplar evidence of observers who are complete idiots. There, I've said it.
    agathamorse, Anonymity and Compassman like this.

Share This Page