Friday, 18 January 2013

Outstanding Effort

It's been over a month since my last blog post and I feel as though I've been remiss. So, I'm blogging. I can hear you all breathe a sigh of relief from here...

I was supposed to be observed today but because of the snow and general chaos it threw the school into today, I wasn't. That's okay though because I have an awesome lesson plan sat, waiting for next Friday Period 5. I did spend quite a long time fretting about this lesson plan though because I've been consistently graded as 'good' for quite some time and I fancy pushing myself up to 'outstanding' as my next challenge.

I'm one of those annoying people who always needs an aim to achieve and so, this academic year, I'm going to make that aim to be outstanding.

However, I spent 4 hours preparing this lesson last night so, y'know, I might need to become a bit quicker at being outstanding. Life is short and four hours per lesson means I might just make next Friday by the time I'm 78.

The lesson itself is going to discuss the value of newspapers. It's a lesson I enjoy teaching because I think it's important that, as an English teacher, I'm arming my students with the ability to see through the nonsense the media like to thrust at us every day. This lesson will be a precursor to discussing specific articles' values and then explore how true their portrayal of events are. It's fun because I get to slate newspapers and I like doing that.

After doing some research online, there seemed to be three key words associated with an outstanding lesson: choice, collaboration, and challenge. So, the lesson is built around various tasks which allows students to pick their own learning path (pause for moment to cringe at use of this phrase) whilst working in groups (designed to meet their learning style needs), whilst offering a big enough challenge to suitably stretch them. 'Fancy' I hear you say. I know.

I really dithered over this and I'm probably attempting to use a bit of humour to cover up the fact that I'm a bit scared to be wading into territory unknown. Admittedly, a lot of the 'outstanding' stuff I read about is stuff I already do but have tweaked them to try and improve their efficiency in the lesson. Given that I've now been given a week's grace too, I fully intend to try and implement some of these ideas throughout lessons this week to try and hone my use of them. Still a bit nervous though.

Better still, I have another observation on Thursday with an outside adviser and a member of SLT. So, next week, what with Year 9 reports due too, will be really, truly brilliant* I'm sure.

Anyway, I'm feeling quietly confident and pleased that I am at least trying to improve on my teaching so, watch this space, I'll let you know how it goes!


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