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Ridiculous comments given at lesson observations

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

  1. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I suppose you can't argue with the truth of this statement. It would make an amazing lesson!
  2. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Some years ago, following a lesson observation where KS3 children were undertaking a KS4 level course which was assessed on individual projects completed at computers, and in fewer than the recommended guided learning hours, I was told there wasn't enough groupwork going on.

    Groupwork was the thing OFSTED apparently wanted to see then.

    To reinforce the need for groupwork in a room with 30 computers facing outwards and tables for 24 facing the front when I needed to demonstrate things, the Headteacher decreed that half of the tables should be permanently removed from the room. I still haven't worked that one out, but it effed up every single lesson and registration from that point onwards.

    When I told SLT that I couldn't possibly introduce needless groupwork into a course with already fewer than the recommended guided learning hours and still get KS3 children the KS4 level results they deserved, I was told to consider the year group 'expendable' as long as OFSTED saw groupwork at the next inspection.

    I did the sensible thing and handed my notice in later the same year, for that and other reasons. Bogus groupwork with expendable children became somebody else's problem.
    ajrowing, BetterNow, Shedman and 4 others like this.
  3. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    It’s difficult to comment fully without knowing exactly what feedback your head gave, but I think he was right to point out how tables can restrict opportunities for innovative teaching and learning and skill development.

    Rows of tables facing the front is a 19th century mode of room design, and does not provide the chance for children to develop their collaborative learning abilities. I can see why your head decided to take urgent remedial action.

    At my place, all furniture must be placed in groups. We have a cap in place on the number of desks allowed in any one class to prevent staff slyly creating rows.

    The SMT can and will remove desks from a room where they are inhibiting innovation or the teacher is relying on too many desk-and-chair based activities.
  4. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Isn't it about time you promoted yourself again @GreenTrees123

    Maybe SoS for education?

    I would have suggested OFSTED inspectorate but you’re already achieving that level of bilge.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  5. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Tsk. Those staff and their sly row-making! Best keep a very close eye on those rebellious row makers!

    Are there any circumstances in which one might be allowed rows?
    caress, jellycowfish, ATfan and 6 others like this.
  6. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    TheoGriff, ATfan, ajrowing and 4 others like this.
  7. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Ridiculous answer.

    I had 30 outward facing computers that children needed to sit away from when lessons were being introduced or summarised, and when my tutor group were registering. The rows of forward facing tables in an already cramped room made proper introductions, proper plenaries, and orderly, focused learning and registrations possible. Computers are a distraction when not in actual use to advance learning, and ICT-based lessons are not always spent tapping a keyboard. Then again I only taught ICT for the best part of 30 years so what would I know?

    As for inhibiting innovation - I was offering a brand new KS4 level interactive multimedia course to the whole of Y7-9 in fewer than the recommended guided learning hours. They needed to get in that room, know what tasks they were working on, and crack on with it for most of the lesson. They were assessed individually on individual projects - that was the course's assessment scheme. Groupwork didn't enter into it, and imposing it artificially would have been a distraction. I spent years in the 1980s struggling with children sharing computers and I point blank refused to go back to that.

    You also conveniently avoid addressing the bit where I was told by SLT that the children's results should be considered expendable as long as OFSTED saw groupwork in evidence. Better that they all underachieve than that I inhibit innovation eh?

    How the **** can you teach ICT from 1982 to 2013 and inhibit innovation? Some teachers spend their entire professional lives teaching sodding Shakespeare.
  8. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I think greentrees accidentally missed out the ‘tongue in cheek’ emoji in his post.
    S/he regularly writes spoof posts, highlighting the absurdities of some educational thinking (usually by people who have never taught)

    @greentrees, I think it would be helpful if you could ensure that you include in your posts the relevant emoji or indicate in other ways that you are not a teacher and are simply ‘taking the ****’ out of some educationalese.
    It would ensure that readers, who don’t know you, do not endanger their health, sanity, career etc by taking your musings seriously.
    install, jellycowfish, Dinay and 5 others like this.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    I started reading @greentrees post without looking at the username.

    I'd guessed it by the first line of the second paragraph. :D
    install, TheoGriff, ms honey and 4 others like this.
  10. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I worked for a real GreenTrees123 who wasn't spoofing anything so I make no apologies for missing any subtle irony. It became a resignation issue for me, so not a lot of humour involved there.

    They walk among us.
  11. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    A lifetime ago in the early days of the NC, an LEA advisor was to inspect my NQT art lesson with a "challenging" Y5 class. My HT told me that he didn't care what I did or how I did it so long as there were at least five totally different activities going on at the same time. Juggling hot eggs is not the best way to teach art, but the advisor chappie was happy with the five different activities taking place, and I duly received my tick in the box. Interestingly, not a single activity originated from the dull, prescribed NC, but Mr Advisor displayed a heartening ignorance of my transgressions.
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Doesn't it get a bit cramped if there is fewer than one desk per child? With the desks used at my school, it was a bit cramped even when they had one each.

    Could be confusing for the poor kids when they get to sit public exams. Or do they do those in groups too?:)
    Dinay, ajrowing and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  13. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    And they'll be a big culture shock when students go to university where they sit in a lecture theatre holding 300-400 students all facing the front.
    jlishman2158, Dinay, ajrowing and 5 others like this.
  14. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    The poor bairns will be traumatised.
  15. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Apologies about that the order of posts. Mine was not directed at you..
  16. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I didn't interpret it that way, so no worries here. Like I say there are plenty of real people who think the way GreenTrees123 has portrayed them, spoof or otherwise.:)
  17. RTWriter

    RTWriter New commenter

    I teach a compulsory GCSE re-sit in an unstreamed group. I have some students chasing a Grade 6 (very likely to achieve it) and some who were enrolled with a low Grade 2 (very little chance of achieving Grade 4). My lesson observation feedback went as follows:

    LM: I felt the resources you chose were relevant and interesting. I liked each table having a different text and all students were engaged throughout. Your questioning was good, as was your help. You had full attendance, with only one late student, who you challenged. You also told a student to wear his lanyard and warned a student to put away her phone. You obviously know your students well and have good rapport with them. I liked that each table had to present a summary of their text with their own opinion of the topic.

    Me: That's good. I chose the texts specifically for each table.

    LM: You could have made the Aims and Objectives clearer at the outset.

    Me: I prefaced the lesson with 'you are now going to analyse your text on your table, in the same way as we have analysed several texts over the last few lessons as a whole class'. I also gave each table a printed instruction sheet, outlining exactly which exam skills they would need, linking each element of the lesson to specific exam questions.

    LM: Yes, I noticed that, but maybe you could have written it on the board.

    Me: Yes, I could. But it would have been for your benefit, not the students, because they all knew what the A&O are, as we have been concentrating on this particular element for a couple of weeks now, as I stated at the outset of the lesson.

    LM: I felt some of the students were very slow at writing up their answers.

    Me: Yes, some of them are. How do you suggest I deal with that?

    LM: You could have told them how long they had to complete the task.

    Me: Yes, I could, but I'm not sure the slower ones would have been able to write more.

    LM: No, but they would have known how long they had.

    Me: OK, I'll do that next time.

    LM: Of course, there was the problem of the open door.

    Me: Was there a problem?

    LM: There could have been noise in the corridor. Although I did note that you closed the door when the corridor became noisy.

    Overall I felt it went very well.
  18. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I think I'll ask Mod Matt if he can insist on GreenTrees putting up an easily identifiable avatar.

    Any suggestions for what should be chosen?

    Best wishes

  19. Morgelyn

    Morgelyn New commenter

    Suggested avatar:
    a green tree python, approach with caution!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
    Shedman, install, ATfan and 4 others like this.
  20. blazer

    blazer Star commenter


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