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the perfect lesson?? (rant warning)

Discussion in 'Art and design' started by mistybrouhaha, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. forgive me but i'm feeling pretty narked with my HOD at the moment. We are still using schemes that are at least 10 years old (although they have been tweaked), every time i make suggestions or give him him new scheme ideas to look at he forgets about them / doesn't have time to look at them, he insists on levelling work according to media criteria which bare little resemblance to NC criteria, spoon feeds all GCSE/A level students, gives me mostly KS3, blaggs his way through any enquiries from SLT, and generally produces excellent grades from his students.
    Anyway - sorry for ranting - i'm feeling disheartened and disaffected after an inspiring inset day that has left me feeling frustrated about my very old school HOD.
    My question is this: with all the PLTs and AfL and differentiation and 3 point lesson plans and everything else that informs our work, what ACTUALLY should be at the core of an excellent art & design lesson?
    I think the things i mentioned above can be very useful btw - AfL is essential i reckon and part of what we do anyway - but what is the <u>most important thing</u>?
    thank you...........

    *puts head on desk and sighs*

  2. thank you.
  3. I sympathise. I can't stand schemes of work that are set in stone. I'd be bored stiff!
    I fondly remember the days, pre-ofsted, when I used to do something different each year with each year group, because I reckoned that if I was interested in what I was doing, then so would the kids.
    (I resigned from my last job because of this micro-management ****. And btw, I am OLD!!)
  4. I'm an HOD and I can see both sides BUT as a way in, what about suggesting you add one of your ideas onto the 'end of term?' As a stand alone lesson. I can't understand why he hasn't at least given you feedback. Have you tried doing a 'mark scheme' with it, and an analysis of which skills are covered (ATs at GCSE)perhaps if all the work was done he'd be happier to involve you.
    When you have your appraisal meeting, say that you would like to develop your career and see that this planning would be good experience for you. My guess is that he thinks that it means more work for him, otherwise he just prefers to teach what he knows to be tried and tested, and that he knows works. Whatever you do be tactful, he may feel threatened otherwise.
    To answer your original point: the main thing is that the students come out of the lesson better informed than when they went in, and hopefully feeling positive.
  5. Thanks for this.
    I have spent a lot of time (over the years) designing schemes with LOs and success criteria etc- feedback tends to just be 'oh you <u>are</u> good, i'll have a look at it later' and it gets lost in the piles of paperwork that never gets sorted out.
    I think its a mixture of different things - he is a control freak who can't delegate; he is badly organised -appraisal meeting? ha - i did have a performance management meeting in the autumn term but the resulting targets were rejected by the head and nothing has happened about that.
    he is stuck in his ways but quite easy going - so we both do deviate from the schemes. My main bug bear is that we have very different approaches to teaching & learning. He is what he is - and he'll be retiring soon..
  6. darkness

    darkness New commenter

    Sometimes it is best to not over stretch the amount of media you try to use. I am not fond of this dismissive attitude to anything which resembles old. I find that many things, initiatives etc, are rehashes of things that used to be done before anyway. Nothing wrong with a bit of tweaking here and there.

    Not knowing exactly how prescriptive the SOW are it is hard to comment, but some have old SOW, however, the interpretation is left to the individual teacher. As in which artist to look at etc, even the media used provided you cover the essentials within the SOW
  7. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    And this is bad because......?
    It seems to me you have the freedom to teach how you want. And there's nothing wrong with different teachers in the dept. having different approaches. God forbid we should all turn into teaching clones.
  8. It is just frustrating because he is now insisting we do it his way - i have enjoyed quite a bit of freedom recently but as we are expecting an ofsted soon, and because for various reasons everyone is feeling under even more pressure at the moment, he is retreating into a cave, and wants no creativity or independence, just a good painting. Good painting skills are very important of course, but surely we don't want students to churn out identical pieces of work?
    He would prefer all students to produce an identical slab pot for example, rather than allowing some to design their own shape, even though i've had some excellent results in the past.

  9. Hi I feel for you, your experience is very much like my own. I have an HOD who has not changed SOWs some for 15 years and is very controlling and has bullied me and other colleagues in the past. I think it is not unusual that some HODs become fixed in the centre of a web of control, the temptation to control overcomes other professional considerations and fixes itself into an inflexable mindset.
    I believe it is very important in this situation to hold on to your own sense of professionalism and purpose, not easy I know. I decicided to do an MA in art education to give myself a boost and to re-focus on my practise. ( and meet other art teachers)
    It is important to find other ideas and support networks and to keep your sense of creativity alive. I have found that I can breathe life into old SOW by tweaking things and adding starters,plenaries, ICT and group work.
    I also think that having a clear structure for assessment criteria can give purpose to your tasks.( see Paul Carney Arts on the net and read his assessment stuff.) He talks about Art in pupil friendly terms such as: Doing, Seeing, Creating and Knowing. If pupils are developing skills with materials, observing objects or analysing an artist work can be similar. This work should be to give them skills to be individually creative, this is at the core of making art. Try to find ways of enabling and fostering creativity inside the SOW that you have if you can 't make room for your own SOW.
    This all sounds great but you have to deal with day to day frustrations. My HOD can drive me round the bend but we have to work together as a team and I'm not the boss. I do feel that the best response in these situations is to do your job well and be as professional as possible. In this way it will become very hard for your HOD to object to well thought out developments in your teaching.
    Remember HODs are under pressure from above and Ofsted inspection will make them stressed and stress brings out the worse side of people. This doesnt negate how you feel it must be very frustrating. I have improved my situation with my HOD but this has involved alot of energy wasted in ignoring and absorbing a lot of ****.
    I look forward to leaving, I've had 2 HOD interviews and I am sure to get a job sometime. Try not to dwell on negative stuff it can be really damaging to you and your health. Good luck!

  10. thank you - i really appreciate your comments.

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