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Unfair judgement in PM observation?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by OTTER, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. This seems like a classic example, where the poor new teacher has to just acquire knowledge by some process akin to osmosis. I think that too often in schools knowledge is assumed rather than explicitly communicated. Strange when you think what the raison d'etre of a school is.Most of the time this is due to everyone being so stressed and overworked that they don't have the time.
    Occasionally it is deliberate and a bullying tactic. Failing to pass on information and then taking action against staff for failing to act on the information is an example.
    When was the last time that you had subject specific CPD, out of interest?
  2. Been a while.... was part time for the last 2 years following becoming a mum, so didn't really get to do any courses :(
    Am on one in a couple of weeks, although it's more a fact-finding mission about mixed-ability teaching than specific CPD, as we don't currently DO mixed ability teaching.
    We have school-wide CPD going on, but I was encouraged onto the 'becoming an outstanding teacher' course rather than the 'aspiring middle leaders' course, despite making it clear I was looking to take on responsibilities as they became available. We have only had one twilight session of this so far.
    Have checked the marking policy for the department, and it says we have to mark at least once a fortnight (I do) and the comments must show successes and areas for development (they do - although I get the students to write the comments, instead of me - I feel it is more useful that way).
    Not sure what to do now!
  3. I suspect that this is a common problem. Teachers who have been working for a number of years were trained when the OFSTED goalposts were nowhere near where they are now. In the meantime schools have provided themselves <strike>saving money </strike> on inhouse CPD, which is rarely subject based.
    The net result is lots of stress and unhappiness.
  4. It seems as though you know precisely what is required, but the assessment by your HoD is ad hoc and not based on specific criteria. Ofsted criteria are very clear: progress has to be demonstrable, pupils need to know where they are now and what they need to learn to achieve the next level; is there a need for differentiated assessment; are students assessing their own progress? - etc - lots of info on various assessment web sites including ofsted's. Why not compile a written response to the obs by setting out clearly, and in writing, exactly the sort of material you posted here - ie objective criteria - and ask your HoD for a written response, Perhaps bounce it off a local AST or LA advisor to get their opinions, You are entitled to written feedback and you are entitled to seek clarification. Keep it professional but remember no line manager should refuse to provide justification for their grading of your lessons,
  5. Thanks for all the advice guys - I had a quiet and very unofficial word with her line manager, basically saying 'here's the situation, and I really don't know what to do - what's your advice?'
    I invited him in to look at any of my books, and he came and took away the appropriate classes books and agreed with her that a 4 was harsh, and it's been changed to a 3. Lots of work to do to make sure this doesn't happen again, but I'm happy with a 3 for now - there's plenty of room for development, and I know that written assessment in books is one of my weaknesses as a teacher!
    Haven't seen her yet though.... hope it's not too awkward :(
  6. I should add that I have a lot of respect for her as a teacher and as a HoD - she has a very different style to me, but if we were all the same, life would be very boring! ;)
  7. I think therein lies the problem - I would get hammered for this at my place - teacher comments are expected.
    I wish I could get the pupils to write their own comments - must save loads of time!
  8. muffinmops

    muffinmops New commenter

    I think Pm is a joke . I got satisfactory which I think was fair. I had two observers who came in for 20 minutes straight after my starter which was in an a level class. The students had to find answers to questions then I checked they knew them Well the obsevers missed all of this. When they came in I was doing the teacher talk showing a power point then the class had a discussion

    I was told I need to question the students constantly throughout the lesson so my assessment wasn so good. I agree with them as I am teaching a level for the first time and have found it really demanding and intense since september. I actually dont have a work life balance at the moment. If Im not reading , im marking or lesson planning like everyone else.

    What makes me laugh -a judgement is made by a 20 minute observation - what if that observation gets say satisfactory but the exam results are consistenlty good and the teacher is working their **** off at home and work?

    In my school ,an unqualified teacher who teaches two lessons a week of citizenship which is a non exam subject, has no marking to do gets an outstanding and hasn't even trained to be a teacher.?

    Aren't exam results relevant to judging teachers as well?

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