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Well it's better but still unsatisfactory....

Discussion in 'Personal' started by bizent, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. bizent

    bizent Star commenter

    A statement that might be the nail in the coffin for my teaching career.
    Never felt so patronised and demoralised.
  2. Oh dear. Sorry about that. Teaching's in a terrible state - I have no idea what kind of teacher you are ( and the title of the thread and the fact someone obviously said it to you doesn't convince me you're a rotten teacher) but I know you're young, and teaching isn't the be all and end all...
    You sound unhappy - have you thought about re-training as something else? Something a bit more rewarding?
  3. SleighBelle

    SleighBelle Occasional commenter

    Is that the new Ofsted observation criteria, where what was once good now appears to be unsatisfactory?
    I feel for you. Our majority good-and-outstanding staff has become barely satisfactory. Time to look elsewhere? Or could you contest the judging?
  4. Andy_91

    Andy_91 New commenter

    Never, ever let a teaching grade descriptor affect your self-esteem:
    Outstanding = you've spent too much time on it.
    Good = phew! Got away with it.
    Satisfactory = observer's a picky i.diot.
    Unsatisfactory = observer's an i.diot *****.
    There will NOT be anything wrong with you.
  5. cinnamonsquare

    cinnamonsquare Occasional commenter

    Don't worry about it at all.

    I've only ever been given 2 grades for lesson observations - good and unsatisfactory. I'm not sure how I can vary that much when I never really change my style. It's all down to that particular observer's opinion and interpretation of the criteria.

    Of the 2 unsatisfactories I've had one was, "Your lesson was very good but I noticed one boy wasn't listening the whole time." - I was happy that he wasn't setting fire to anything.

    The other was a lesson that I had differentiated by outcome/expectation or whatever the popular phrase is now and my observer said that she could only give me unsatisfactory because I hadn't stated the differentiation on the lesson plan I had given her. I asked whether she had OBSERVED any differentiation and she said yes, through my questioning and discussion with the children. But apparently for the lesson that took place to be worth anything it should have been written down. Utter rot. Hasn't made the slightest difference to the children, their learning, my teaching or my career.

    Have a large glass of wine and forget about it (((bizent)))
  6. chubbyone

    chubbyone Occasional commenter

    I have had lessons ranging from inadequate to outstanding! Latest 5 except for one have been good with outstanding elements. Last one was me good with outstanding elements but because an lap in my class chose to sit their and do nothing it was pulled down to satisfactory! It is all a joke!!!!!!!!
  7. Really think the state sector is a complete and utter joke with lesson observations. On the one rare occasion I was actually given a 'good' got told it was good but 'only just' - how is that for motivation? Also when not being observed how many of us actually do half the things we are 'supposed to'? By OFSTED standards I would consistently be an unsatisfactory teacher but to be honest I am proud of that as have very little respect for the criteria of what makes a good lesson anyway. I am proud of the results my pupils achieve, if I did it OFSTED's way I doubt they would be as successful.
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    On courses, do teachers listen all the time? In staff meetings, do teachers listen all the time?
    Despite every teacher's best efforts, not all pupils listen all the time. It's what you do about it that's important. I think that should happen in staff meetings.[​IMG]
  9. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Who cares what they think? Until they start docking our pay for being 'Satisfactory' it doesn't affect the pay packet. I LOVE to tear up their little sheets and put them in the recycling while they are still in the room.
  10. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Presumably there was some constructive advice on how to improve with clear targets set? If not, be pro-active and seek clarification. If the observer is not forthcoming, then I'd agree with others who say take it with a pinch of salt x
  11. bizent - it is the opinion of a jobsworth.
    YOU are a great teacher. YOU have done enough.
    The fault is with those assessing, not with those being assessed (hey, how cryptic is that...?)

  12. At the risk of being massively controversial - how on earth do you know this? Maybe the OP is not, at the moment, teaching well. I agree with posters who have said the OP will need help and guidance and support to improve but to everyone who is saying 'Don't worry, you're fine' etc. Are you seriously saying that every teacher graded as unsatisfactory is in fact wonderful?
  13. bizent

    bizent Star commenter

    I agree and what you have said is right. The first observation I accepted, I hadn't planned it that well and was hoping that my line manager would do his usual trick and not bother turning up. He did and the outcome was a 4 which I accepted and what goes with it.
    When he came back with another observer I was ready and everything was planned to perfection, the kids were learning (or so I thought) and LO were achieved. Apparently not!!
    I told them I did not agree with their judgement but it doesn't matter what I think - their decision is what matters and that's what it is. I stopped listening after a while and just left the meeting in a daze. I'll play their game and nod and smile but I will also be asking for a more supportive line manager.
  14. I completely agree. Those responses are of the knee-jerk, *There, there - you'll be fine. Have a Personal hug* variety. Decidedly unhelpful.
  15. Could you be helpful rather than critical FaF?
    All teachers know, deep down, if the lesson has been unsatisfactory. Although the grade may hurt it does help to highlight any problems. The trouble is that sometimes the lesson has been good but the observer has still not given the appropriate grade, for whatever reason. I think many of us, most of us, have been on the receiving end of dubious observations. It does affect one's self confidence.
  16. bizent

    bizent Star commenter

    Yes and the first one was but the second I feel wasn't
    It did hurt but more in anger than upset. To be told you are c*ap at what you've been doing for the last few years is a bit of a smack in the face.
  17. But they haven't said you're c**p at what you've been doing for the past few years. They've seen too lessons which haven't been great. They need to look at other evidence too - how are the children progressing in assessments? How do their books look? How is your planning? Take time to calm down and try not to see it as personal (I know teaching feels personal, but teachers and leaders of teachers just want the children to make good progress - keep that in mind, you're both coming from the same place). Look at the progress, look at some other teacher's planning and ask yourself if it's up to scratch and if you feel it probably isn't then it might be time to refresh what you're doing - ask to observe others etc and try to take on board some new ideas. If you feel that the progress is good (I don't know what age you teach but you should know what's good attainment and progress for the age you're in) then ask the leaders to let you know what you could be doing better in their eyes. It could be down to something really simple like doing some AfL in lessons, or organising the classroom better. I hope it goes well for you.
  18. bizent

    bizent Star commenter

  19. Cheer up chicken! Loads of us have been there and those that haven't are either lucky or just haven't been there yet. It sometimes only takes one change on the management team or a wind change in the authority to produce a lot of these uncomfortable situations.
    You've probably sorted it out by now anyway but get the observer to give you the written feedback and go over it with you.
    While they do this makes notes of their suggestions, ask lots of questions and finally ask them if you can observe one or two of their lessons to see the advice in practice. Be keen. Make more notes. Get an 'excellent' teacher to look over your lesson plans before the next observation and on the day let the observer know that you've done this (nice and casual like.)
    I know there are many sides to this sort of thing although there shouldn't be.
    I have seen an observer ignore the fact that ten minutes into a lesson 12 'new' students arrived unexpectedly from the HoD's bottom set. There wasn't room for all of them as it was a science lab and this in itself was a H&S issue. The observer referred to the start of the lesson as 'tardy'.
    I have heard of someone earnestly feeding back to a teacher on the areas they needed to improve and then having to have it pointed out to them that they had not been the person who observed the lesson and the paperwork was in fact someone elses.
    Still, It's all good fun untill someone loses an eye as they say.


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