Teaching observation coming up...need some friendly teachers' advice...

(6 Posts)
Spongingbobsunderpants Sat 27-Apr-13 21:00:25

I'm ashamed of myself for even asking this but having a massive crisis of confidence. I'm a middle management teacher who has recently gone back after having two years out of three for maternity leave for my 2 dc. Before I left to have ds1, I was consistently judged in performance management and lesson obs as outstanding according to Ofsted criteria.

Since returning a few months ago on a part time job share (thus getting my middle management role back), I feel like I've lost my teacherly magic touch. I have been teaching a group that is as no way as challenging as some of the ones I've had in the past but none of my behaviour management strategies, which have worked in the past, is not being very effective. It's not helped by the fact that I only teach them once a week and another teacher sees them for their other three lessons but my pride says that I should have forged a better relationship with them by now.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I've got an observation with me teaching them next week (no choice over class as line manager is only free then) and I'm bricking myself it'll go badly as the class manages to sabotage even the most creatively planned lesson. What makes it worse is that my new line manager is a very no nonsense careerist who, by her own admission, is quite hard on other women. I've got a lot to prove since its the first time she will have observed me and she expects, from my track record, that the lesson will be great.

I can't ask any of my colleagues for advice as I don't want them to know how much my confidence has taken a knock (as well as to not damage my reputation) so I would really like any nice teachers out there to share your behaviour management best bits...

A bit about the class... 16 year olds who have previously failed their gcses or have no UK qualifications doing a new course, usually as a package of other Gcses. They are mostly very weak ability (with two exceptions) and most struggle with literacy on some level. They have little motivation, complete little to no homework on time and resistant to the subject in general. Most were enrolled as it was one of a very limited number of options, and most had not done the subject before. They are all nice kids in their own right, and are not overtly confrontational, but low level disruption and a real resistance to any task set (and I've tried the lot!) characterises the group so for the observer to see them making much progress at all will be hard.

I always put up lesson objectives on the board for when they come in and go through these after the starter. The starter will be a matching definitions to key terms on the computer individually then they will complete an annotation task of a website homepage design based on these key terms ( differentiated website home pages). They then have to complete an individual practical task designing their own website homepage - a sample exam question and criteria to achieve top/middle/low grades will be shared with them before they begin. They will then pair up and peer assess according to exam criteria which will then be fed back to me in a plenary.

All thoughts welcome...

elliepac Sat 27-Apr-13 21:18:41

Eveningsmile. I will admit to knowing sod all about IT (history middle manager here) but as far as what OFSTED/SLT are looking for maybe a few things to think about. You know these pupils best and I am sure you have planned activities that you think you will engage them (and we've all had classes like that....us it is incredibly hard to form a bond when you share a class).

What I would check on is how you are going to show progress. Mini-plenaries? Questioning styles? How have you differentiated? Success Criteria (differentiated). I know when SLT observe at our school, that is what they are looking for.

There is so much to remember these days!

Lostmykeys Sat 27-Apr-13 21:25:49

Are you on Twitter? Check out @TeacherToolkit loads of up to date strategies that will ease the way through your lesson. I agree with Elliepac mini plenaries which demonstrate you tracking progress are a must. How long is your lesson? There is a lot to get through if you are also managing poor behaviour.

elliepac Sat 27-Apr-13 21:26:48

Just re-read and you asked about behaviour managementblush. Sorry!

Am assuming you have tried seating plans and consistent strategies such as 3,2,1 to quieten down etc.

Obviously the observation is imminent so I suspect your best bet is a really engaging lesson. What kind of activities do they respond best to? Would it be worth switching it up and putting them in groups. Starters on desk as soon as they walk in to pre-empt anything?

Are they likely to behave better because SLT are in there. That sometimes works in observation;)

Spongingbobsunderpants Sat 27-Apr-13 22:01:03

Thanks both of you. Yes, mini plenaries are a great idea and I have The Teachers' Toolkit book but not seen the Twitter version - will check it out, thanks. It's an hour lesson so I am aware of the amount I plan to get through - the practical task is a 'wireframe' - a basic sketched outline of a website page so shouldn't take too long. They have 25 mins in the exam to draw it so I'm trying to replicate that.

Grateful for the input! smile

Spongingbobsunderpants Sat 27-Apr-13 23:40:21

I've just seen the 5 minute lesson plan idea on the twitter link- will plan it that way first to focus what I'm doing.

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