First job interview after 8 years as sahm. Please help me with my ideas for English lesson

(27 Posts)

I've got to teach year 9 for 35 minutes about 'anything of my choice' it does not need to link to anything they have been doing in class. They are very bright independent school children, boys and girls My ideas so far:
1. lesson looking at the sonnet form - teach them the traditional features of a sonnet and look at several modern sonnets to find their features. Start with clapping out syllables and discussing stress and then moving onto couplets.
2. Haikus - teach/ remind them of the features of a haiku. Work in groups to make their own haiku.
3.Poems as puzzles - I quite like the idea of looking at a poem like Sylvia Plath's morning song as a puzzle whose similes and metaphors need to be unravelled. It's a fledgling idea but I've got some ideas about making it like the children are detectives and need to work out the answer to who the poem is about.
4. My other idea was looking at the strips Dulux and other paint companies produce as a way of improving descriptive writing. I thought we could have pictures of sunsets, rainforests, waterfalls and use paint chart descriptions and create our own colour descriptions to write more vivid descriptions.
All of these are only initial ideas so please be kind. Would really welcome some views on my ideas, thanks.

Schmedz Sat 15-Mar-14 23:04:17

I am not an English teacher but would suggest you ask for some idea from the school as to what they have covered so you don't inadvertently end up teaching them something they have already covered. I would also find out if there are

I suspect the people observing the lesson will be looking to see if you incorporate a good amount of independent learning and inquiry in the lesson and it is not too 'teacher led'. Rapport with the children and differentiation of tasks is also important. If teaching at a bright independent school remember the average level will often be much higher than you might expect for the age group so have high expectations (and a clear idea!) of what you expect them to learn . 35 minutes not a long time so don't plan too much. Similarly ensure there is enough material for the able/quick students.

TES have some great forums where people share lesson ideas...you might find better help there.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy being back in the classroom!

Schmedz Sat 15-Mar-14 23:05:26

Oops...missed the end of the sentence in the first paragraph...meant to say find out if there are any children with SEN and ensure your lesson includes some strategies for helping their learning styles.

Springcleanish Sat 15-Mar-14 23:13:22

3 or 4 sound really exciting, sonnets and haiku a bit pedestrian and easily ruined if the class did poetry last term and therefore it's fresh in their mind. Time will go really quickly, include progress checks and an element of group/ paired work with feedback to peers of class.
Evidence of differentiation using bronze, silver, gold for differentiation, let children pick their task but be prepared to explain why.

Mind you, saying that, my friend just got a really good job in an independent school, and they just wanted chalk and talk, none of the jumping through progress hoops of state schools.

Good luck.

Thanks so much. Right will narrow my thinking down to 3 and 4. I'm aiming to have the lesson planned by the end of today.

HmmAnOxfordComma Sun 16-Mar-14 09:17:57

I agree... Ds is top set in yr 8 at an independent school and 1 and 2 sound a bit 'easy'. (Not a teacher but have English degree so am usually reluctant to describe any English lesson as 'easy' but ykwim.)

I love the paint chart idea. Loads of mileage on persuasive techniques in a Farrow and Ball one, too!

While cleaning the bathrooms I've decided to go with idea 3. Will give each child a spiral bound notebook and each group will get envelopes of 'clues' which will be a line or two from a poem. They will work in groups to unravel the 'clue' and try to work out what the metaphor is about. Extension will be to begin to write their own clues. Need to find out if there are any children with SENs in the group and then will differentiate accordingly. Now need to choose my poems.

HmmAnOxfordComma Sun 16-Mar-14 09:33:19

I'm sure you're not, but make sure you're not conflating Sen with low ability when you ask who's on the register. Ds has Asperger's and Ta support but works near the top of his class in English.

Don't worry - my son has aspergers too so I'm on it smile

HmmAnOxfordComma Sun 16-Mar-14 09:37:57

Good. Hope that wasn't too patronising!

No, not at all. I'm after all the help and advice I can get. Really want this job.

UndoTyping Sun 16-Mar-14 11:53:27

I'm not a teacher.

Rather a very mature student who recently sat her English gcse.

I studied Ozymandias by Percy B. Shelley which I absolutely loved. Here it is - full of imagery

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".

Agggghast Sun 16-Mar-14 13:36:45

I am Hod for English in a very successful state school and 3 is a really good option but remember you only have 35 mins. Make sure you embed Afl and that you check the Year 9 curriculum before you plan too much. For example if they are currently studying a novel you could pick a poem with similar themes which would build on their understanding, intertextuality really supports progress.

oneearedrabbit Sun 16-Mar-14 18:27:13

is it this week? Did you know it is Shakespeare Week? v good website you can get lots of ideas from which you could combine with e g yr sonnet idea - topical and shows you are on the ball!!

Minime85 Sun 16-Mar-14 19:00:53

I was going to say 3 or 4 too. liking your update about number 3. I'd use higher level GCSE poems maybe off of old specs or others. blessing is good for imagery, island man, search for my tongue. how will you bring it all together? will they have the same poem or different? how will u show all students have made progress? sorry dont mean to throw questions at you just thinking of what I think when planning (English teacher of 14 yrs smile ) good luck

Thanks everyone. I've done some more work on this. The plan is to use Morning Song for all the groups. Each group will have 6 envelopes with sections of the poem divided up. Each section has images to help visual learners identify the key words from the lines of poetry. I will encourage the children to make sure they read the clues aloud so that aural learners will benefit. They will use their detective notepads to identify key clues from the poem and work towards an understanding that the poem is about a new born baby. Extension work will be to write their own metaphor about a baby.
Feed back and discuss different interpretations after 20 mins. Which 'clue' was key in helping to identify the poem's central metaphor? Discuss how the clues helped us to get a vivid picture in our minds of how the baby sounded and how it made its mother feel.
Sound ok?

Blessing is perfect, I'd forgotten it. Taught it donkey's years ago. Think I might put together a few ideas for what could follow this lesson, including ideas for extra poems.

Minime85 Sun 16-Mar-14 19:44:30

dont know morning song. could they all write their own metaphor/simile at end based on what they've learned and then share in pairs or something so that all learners have taken part?

I did blessing to yr 7 on a different level for interview at my current job last yr and they were really impressed.

also babysitting is it gillian Clarke? and catrin. just thinking if very able yr 9s...

love the detective idea. great way in to a poem.

Dominodonkey Mon 17-Mar-14 00:25:53

Sounds like a good lesson to me. Deliver it with enthusiasm and confidence and you will do fabulously.

Thanks. I'm starting to look forward to the interview day. I must be mad!

Scoobyblue Thu 20-Mar-14 11:39:41

How did your interview go?

Really well I think. The head said it would be the weekend before he contacts anybody though so a long wait ahead. Lesson went swimmingly. The children were really engaged and even gave me a round of applause when I finished! Very sweet. The headmaster asked me a couple of tricky questions that I didn't answer particularly well but I felt the interviews with the deputy head and head of department went well. Fingers crossed.

Didn't get the job but lots of positive feed back and I know where I need to improve if my dented confidence can face applying for another one. Thanks for your help mumsnetters

HmmAnOxfordComma Sat 22-Mar-14 19:51:33

Oh, well done anyway.

It's all good experience. flowers

Minime85 Sat 22-Mar-14 19:58:55

oh I am sorry. your lesson sounds amazing. knock backs are so hard but like u say take the positives and advice and plough it into next one.

I went for a job early march last yr that I really wanted and would have been ideal in so many ways. in a way I wanted it too much and I wasn't me. I ruined my chances. I took it hard and cried! but I took on board what advice was given.

decided to apply to another job. wanted it. was just myself and was honest and more relaxed and got it ahead of 6 other people. and its the best job. it was like I had to go through that disappointment to find it. so I'm sure something will come your way soon. smile

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