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What to do with lesson observations you disagree with?

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by welshwizard, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    The observation needs to be seen in context one bad one amongst x good. You need to make sure that when you discuss with your mentor the termly report does capture the full picture and on the assessment report you have a section where you can comment.
  2. Awful. How people who are actually trained to teach can be so clueless about giving praise and positive feedback to NQTs is beyond me. I remember one observation last year during PGCE when I almost drowned under a massive Niagara Falls of criticism, and then she said, "Ok well there's more but I'm not going to say everything because I don't want to be too critical" or somethng like that...argh!
    No! Get it on the record now that you don't agree with what's been said.
    If I were you I would email your mentor (better than face to face as you can keep a copy) with your comments. Something polite along the lines of,
    "I notice you put down on the observation form the fact that I have not set homework for the class as a negative point - perhaps you didn't realise, but I am following the homework timetable for this class, who are not set homework by me. Would it be possible for you to amend the lesson observation form to reflect this?"
    You definitely need to refute the things they've written down that you did not say, if you're sure that you didn't say them. It seems really strange for them to make up quotations!
    You could even, if you wanted to, ask for any positive comments about what you are doing well. For example if you thought your resources were good such as the IWB animations, you could ask for comments on those... eg. "I think my resources and use of ICT have improved since the last time you saw me teach (for example the animations on my IWB). Could you let me know whether you agree, as this shows I am meeting core standard 17?"
    Hopefully you'll get some positive recognition , but even if you don't, any negative response will show your mentor up as unsupportive and negative (which may help you later, I don't know.)
    Usually when I have an observation with SLT they will say, "if there's anything you don't agree with come and ask me about it". Which is helpful.
    Good luck. Hope things get better soon.
  3. Teaching observing and feedback is a two way process and you should have the opportunity to make comments that you disagree with some of the observations or you should be able to place things in context - e.g. the homework.
    Write your response and ask for that to be filed with the mentor's observation and send a copy to the LA NQT representative in case it getrs 'lost' in school.
    If there are no positives then the mentor has surely provided you with some constructiuve comments are atrgets and suggested extra help/training? if not ask for it.

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