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Schools Direct Interview - 15 minute mini-lesson!

Discussion in 'Geography' started by danielleg22, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. I have an interview at a school in a couple of weeks and they have requested that I prepare something as follows: 15 mins long, working with between 12 and 15 pupils (ages between 11 and 14 - they cannot tell me which year group until the day), can be on any topic (I want this to be a Geography topic as this is the course I have applied for!) and it can be a presentation, discussion or group work. The instructions state that "The emphasis of your activity will be on enthusing the pupils and interacting with them. However, it should provide an opportunity for learning gains to be made."

    Can anybody help with some suggestions? I have limited experience in doing something like this and want to make it work for me!

    Thanks,

    D
     
  2. I have an interview at a school in a couple of weeks and they have requested that I prepare something as follows: 15 mins long, working with between 12 and 15 pupils (ages between 11 and 14 - they cannot tell me which year group until the day), can be on any topic (I want this to be a Geography topic as this is the course I have applied for!) and it can be a presentation, discussion or group work. The instructions state that "The emphasis of your activity will be on enthusing the pupils and interacting with them. However, it should provide an opportunity for learning gains to be made."

    Can anybody help with some suggestions? I have limited experience in doing something like this and want to make it work for me!

    Thanks,

    D
     
  3. Can I ask what 'limited experience' is? Will this be a completely new thing for you, going into a classroom and engaging a group of teenagers? Just curious about that, really!
    I'm not much use, to be honest, but I'm interested in your post because this is something I'll be doing shortly (I hope) and I've had a GTP interview in the past and have experience of School Direct providers. It seems to me that this will be a sort of hybrid of the 30min+ interview lessons we're asked to do for job interviews, and the Ofsted-Inspector type grilling I got at my GTP interview (didn't like it - can you tell?!).
    It's good that they're saying the focus is on interacting with and engaging the pupils. My advice would be to do something you know well. If you don't have much teaching experience then Geography, as your subject, is probably the best option. Fifteen minutes is very short.
    This is just one suggestion, and others will have better ones, I'm sure: Find a visual resource which will engage the pupils. A short video, a banana box or six (there's a video on this somewhere, help me out someone!)...not a photograph, that's boring. Get them to look at it. It has to be interesting or unusual for them to be engaged. Then pose a question which will generate a discussion and lead to the children constructing some sort of knowledge that they didn't have before.
    So - if it's a video (my favourites at the moment are the Human Planet ones) about, for example, that trip to school which takes three days over the ice, the children could talk about why someone needs to travel to a school three days away. Or if it's a banana-box type object they could discuss the journey which brought it to their classroom.
    Obviously these are vague ideas and you will hopefully have some favourite topic which could be adapted. The skilful part is in facilitating a discussion where pupils don't just talk over each other. You could ask them to talk in pairs about, for example, why they think the children in the video have to travel three days to school. Give them a minute or two for this then stop them and ask them to share their ideas. In this way the pupils will have to be quiet while they listen to pairs feeding back, but you can then throw it open to responses from the whole class before going to another pair feeding back. You could get them to write their ideas down - the more of this you do, the more you will have to think about resources. But there's nothing difficult about taking a stack of paper and giving them a sheet each.
    Keep it small. By the time you've done a brief introduction, shown them a video and got them to chat about it in pairs, you might only have eight minutes left for a discussion. Know what it is you want them to focus on - differences in population density between the UK and Nepal, or whatever - and make sure you round off the fifteen minutes by asking them to tell you what they have learned about the focus. Eg - what are the differences in population density?
    Don't take the 'learning' part too seriously - they've told you it's not the main thing, and it can't be, within that time frame! One little point arising from a surprising visual resource, and your ability to facilitate collaborative talk. Don't go over, either - if they're like me they won't be impressed, after telling you you've got fifteen minutes, if you drag it out for twenty five!
    Like I said, this is probably a load of rubbish, but it's well meant...[​IMG]
    Good luck!

     
  4. Maybe bring in some props. For example things that come from the rainforest or are made from rainforest products e.g coffee, chocolate, medicines, shampoo etc and ask pupils to guess the think. This could lead onto a discussion about why the rainforest is important and what can be done to save it.

    How about some photos and a guess what happens next activity? Or which Is the odd one out? Or a photo of damage after an earthquake and ask pupils why people might live there?

    To encourage discussion ask pupils about their personal experiences - good and bad things about their local area and how they might improve it.

    Just a few ideas off the top of my head. Good luck with it.
     
  5. Ooh, those are some good ideas - making notes, lol!
     
  6. Thanks for your suggestions! I've only just logged back to find them so had already tried to come up with something... Opinions would be greatly appreciated!

    I had thought on looking at the digital divide...
    I thought we could start by looking at the technologies that the students use in their every day lives - perhaps have some suggestions and get them written on the board e.g. mobile phones, alarm clocks, sat navs, the internet (!!) etc.
    Then I thought I could ask them to write down briefly the outline of a typical day and what technologies they would use for what. e.g. Alarm to get up, sat nav to find way to a place, internet to research home work, mobile phone to arrange to meet friends etc. - they could use the examples on the board to help them with this.
    Then I'd ask them to go through the same day but think about what would happen if they didn't have the access/knowledge to use these technologies. How would they research for their homework without access to the internet? How might they contact their friends without mobiles?
    We could then have some suggestions about whether life is easier with technology (what are the advantages?). And if it is, does it also bring disadvantages (e.g. lack of face to face communication, reliance on spell-checking for school work instead of learning the to spell the words - I know I am guilty of this!)
    I'd then like them to look at somewhere that does not/never has had the technologies we rely on so heavily and how their lives function without them. Ideally I might use a video for this (when I find one!). Then I'd think it would be good for them to bring everything together... but am unsure on how to do this!

    Couple of questions...
    How can I make sure this is as interactive as possible? Would working in groups be the answer? I ideally would have wanted something more interactive than that, have them up and moving around if possible but am unsure how I can work this in to the idea I already have.
    Also - would it be best to have a set day-plan for them to insert the technologies in to to ensure they are using lots of it! I worry that they might only include one or two things in their "diary" which might easily be compensated by something non-technological when re-writing the day technology-free. That being said... I don't want to control what they are thinking about - I want this to really apply to their own lives so they can really relate!

    Thanks!
     
  7. And why doesn't this forum let you have paragraphs!!!
     

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