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What aspects of your teaching and learning make it outstanding?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by geniegirl, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    Having moved from Y1 this year I am now wondering about how I can make my teaching in Reception outstanding? My last few SLT observations have all been good/outstanding, but now I am teaching in EYFS I feel much less confident.
    I have my first SLT observation on Friday in a phonics lesson. I use talk partners, a bit of AfL when appropriate, I try to include some up and active games, writing on whiteboards (which my children LOVE!) and reading within phonics - but am not sure what else I should be doing (not just for the observation, but in general). I have set up a few observations in various other settings, the first of which is in a few weeks.
    Any thoughts would be great! Thanks!
     
  2. Hi all,
    Having moved from Y1 this year I am now wondering about how I can make my teaching in Reception outstanding? My last few SLT observations have all been good/outstanding, but now I am teaching in EYFS I feel much less confident.
    I have my first SLT observation on Friday in a phonics lesson. I use talk partners, a bit of AfL when appropriate, I try to include some up and active games, writing on whiteboards (which my children LOVE!) and reading within phonics - but am not sure what else I should be doing (not just for the observation, but in general). I have set up a few observations in various other settings, the first of which is in a few weeks.
    Any thoughts would be great! Thanks!
     
  3. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Well, there shouldn't be a question mark after outstanding in your first sentence.. Sorry to nitpick but, since you're seeking perfection, I thought you'd want to know.
     
  4. Thanks Inky, what a helpful response. *rolls eyes*.

    Now I can understand why people don't use these
    forums as much anymore. Was actually after a genuine
    reply to get help and advice on teaching, may have
    to look elsewhere.
     
  5. I think it is admirable that you would like to be an outstanding teacher - but outstanding by which definition?
    I have known of other teachers who have had this aim and jumped through all the hoops and fulfilled the paperwork demands - and yet still the observing person managed to find some small issue of the criteria to suggest that there wasn't 'enough' to quite reach the outstanding mark.
    You might find this upsetting, frustrating - and it can have a negative effect on you if you have been overly concerned about the outcome of the observation.
    To rub salt into the wounds, I know of an instance where the teacher was told that in reality she was outstanding, they moderators could see that for themselves, but that on paper there was this bit with reference to parent-participation not quite up to speed. The irony is that this teacher had a strong relationship with parents, and some grandparents, and involved them loads both in and out of the school premises.
    That particular teacher was so disgusted with that event - and other similar ludicrous carry-ons - that she has now left full time teaching totally disaffected.
    There's nothing wrong with dedication - but I would love to suggest that 'outstanding' is too big an ideal. Much of our day to day teaching is necessarily 'ordinary' and that's just fine. It can be too much for us as teachers and too much for the children to have that full-on strive for the theoretical ideal lessons all the time. And as I hinted at before - outstanding by the say-so of which person or people?
    Perhaps you could continue to read widely and pay attention to your professional development - but actually be resigned to the fact that sometimes your 'grade' will be more about the observer and the current fad than whether you are outstanding or not. It can be a pot luck set of circumstances.
    Try instead, to be confident and happy enough in yourself to provide for the children in your care according to your own set of criteria and standards.
    We all like to receive a pat on the back and to feel appreciated - but this is by no means a 'given' in teaching nowadays. It really will be helpful for your peace of mind and enjoyjment of working to focus on yourself and the children and the parents with no overarching concern about the latest fad or directive.

     
  6. Well said debbiehep. It could not be better put. We should all strive to be happy and confident in what we do and the experiences we provide for the children. No one is "outstanding" all the time and I would rather have a laugh with engaged children any day.
     
  7. geniegirl, don't be put off by these comments. If you strive to be outstanding, then go for it. Having said that, debbiehep has some valid points! It would be lovely to know what outstanding is, but it is different in the eyes of different people.
    Enjoy yourself and be positive.
     
  8. And you wonder why I made the comment about 'trolls' in the other thread..........
     
  9. I personally think that as long as you have most of the desired attributes of an early years classroom, the 'outstanding-ness' of a teacher (and I know that not really a word, before anyone starts) comes from the teacher's personality, and how the teacher-child relationships come across during the lesson. Engaged children, who enjoy learning and making progress, are easy to spot to someone who does a lot of lesson observations, and this cannot come from preparation for an inspection - it has to come from within!
    Hope that doesn't sound too ridiculous - I know what I mean! [​IMG]
     
  10. I agree giraffe77.
    It is possible, in my opinion, to be judged with formal criteria to not be outstanding - and yet be outstanding in terms described in the posting above.
    I know which I think is the most important.
     
  11. Thank you Giraffe, Debbie and Bumblebee. I appreciate your words of wisdom and you have inspired me to stop thinking about an observation coming up, and concentrate on the bigger picture! I know my teaching is successful because the children are constantly learning and asking questions and wanting to find out more information!
    Just wish everyone was so helpful on these forums! Thank you again!
     
  12. hey genie, you have had some great responses.. I don't know anywhere else but the early years forum, and with early years teachers where such a simple question could take you in one step to such thoughtful, philosophical reflections. It is true to say that the more you teach, the less will you feel comfortable about the parameters which are used to define your work and the more you will probably feel that the simple formulae for outstanding being applied to you do not contain your dimensions in any way. You may also feel that you know a good deal more about why you do what you do than can be assessed in an observation; the breadth of your imagination, your capacity for adaption and innovation, the sense of standing still and looking ever deeper into what may have only been transitory and superficially considered before. Then you stop, stop, stand and stare and hold it there awhile, and then you see the children's thoughts like sparrows flit and flutter, gather on your branches, rabbits take home in your roots, the lone-language fox slinks silent in the night and makes a home in you, and you are he, and your eyes are his and you watch from the deep, dark comfort of the land the thrilling, changing energy of life gathering, renewing, charging through your cells with light, all this cannot be contained in outstanding, but it is there, in other words and other ways, as debiie hep says so clearly. This teaching life is- to quote the beatles 'a magical mystery tour'- to aspire is to be free, and have no doubt, many would chain you, not of malintent, but of misunderstanding.
     

  13. I do very much agree with giraffe77. I am an AHT who goes into lots of lessons and I have simplified my 'framework' for judging good/outstanding. Relationships AND results are the indicators. A class with good relationships but no progress might feel happy but is the teacher actually serving children well in this situation? Achieving results without joy and human connection feels like a factory. If the two are in abundance in a lesson then I challenge any SLT or Ofsted official to call the lesson anything other than outstanding. Good luck as you find your own 'inner wizard'. You have the magic. Using it every day will ensure that you are mostly outstanding in your work with your class.
     

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