The past fortnight has been quite a hectic one at work, for one reason or another. This week was really the icing on the cake though with TWO observations, a seemingly endless pile of books to mark, plus a number of developments which are exciting!
The first observation was with an external schools adviser who, notoriously, is a harsh marker. I was pre-warned and so I wasn't expecting miracles. I was given a 3+ which, initially, I was a bit disappointed with but quickly realised that it could of been a lot worse. I was complimented on my control of the class (my Year 9's - nothing short of miraculous!!) and praised on my relationship with students but was told I had to be riskier and make it more challenging. Which, annoyingly, I tend to try and do as much as possible in my lessons. I suspect I allowed her reputation to sway me into a 'playing it safe' zone and I'm a bit annoyed with myself for it, if I'm honest. However, it was all valuable feedback and, when Ofsted return, I'm more convinced than ever to plan all risky lessons and throw caution to the wind. It will either pay off or I'll be on the dole; regardless, it's my plan.
The second observation was a line management one which I spent four hours planning last Thursday (it was postponed due to the snow). I got a 2, which I was happy with. My overall aim is to become an outstanding teacher and there were elements of the lesson which were edging towards that grading so, I was pleased. I don't expect to achieve outstanding immediately and recognise that it's something I need to work towards. I'm on the right track and have begun doing research into what it takes, and hope to organise some observations of my own with teachers who already are outstanding. A lot of the feedback I got from this lesson was things that will naturally change as I gain more experience but I'm also learning that I need to play out activities in my head to see them right through to their full eventuality. I'm hoping that the more familiar I become with outstanding lessons, the more I'll begin to naturally think in that way.
So, my current targets are:
1. Become more and more comfortable with riskier lessons.
2. Experiment with using music as a 'do now' task at the start of my lessons.
3. Observe some outstanding teaching.
I'm also enrolled to attend a day course in London in March which will focus on ensuring all my lessons are outstanding.
Onwards and upwards!!