So I had my first lesson observation and feedback today and although it’s only week 4 of full teaching, I was a little disheartened. Out of 10 areas I got 4 ‘Goods’ and 6 ‘Room for improvement.’ The first thing my mentor said was not to worry about the Room for improvement column as he had observed me under the new OFSTED guidelines, which I know are a lot tougher, and that lots of the teachers were in that column at the moment, but still, I couldn’t help feeling a little upset/ worried/ scared/ stressed.
The main thing is that I was given fantastic feedback- all the things I need to improve on are achievable and things that I hadn’t even thought of (or worse- had thought of, but hadn’t got around to doing- loops!). So next time I know exactly what to do to improve. The main ‘biggie’ was the fact that everyone was doing the same work. It was a practical activity- and I am kicking myself that I didn’t even adapt the exercise even slightly- seeing as I used the word DIFFERENTIATION a thousand times a day on my PGCE course. If that’s one tip I can give you ALWAYS make sure you differentiate. I told my mentor that the practical activity was a form of assessment, which is was, which is why I had them all doing the same and he agreed with my thinking and said that he could now see why I had chose to do it in my lesson, but I know next time, differentiation will be the first thing that he is looking for.
So let’s get the bad things out of the way first:
- I didn’t differentiate the practical activities . (ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS differentiate)
- The noise levels at the practical activities was quite loud (a noise-o-meter will now be used).
- There wasn’t much assessment during the lesson (White board work will now be done on the carpet. “Write the answer on your white board. Hold it up. Let me see.”)
- The pupils didn’t achieve the objective. Higher ability too easy, lower ability too hard
That was the gist of the negatives. Now the positive:
- Good behaviour management in the classroom- children listen to me and know what is expected of them.
- Lovely atmosphere in the classroom. Great vibes, children enjoy learning and my passion for teaching really comes across.
- Good time management in lessons.
- Good relationship and use of of other adults in the classroom.
So now I just need to remember all the improvements for my next observation…. The joy!