I am useless at observed lessons

(15 Posts)
manyhands Fri 28-Feb-14 20:11:18

Help! I am a hard working teacher who likes kids. My class seems to run smoothly but I always mess up observed lessons. I keep getting requires improvement but with different faults every time. Needless to say this is doing my career no favours and massively affecting my family life too. I get very nervous and was badly bullied in a previous school. I'm in a lovely school now and my head is supportive but I can't keep messing up. I feel like a total failure and am sure I won't get taken on permanently if I can't get a decent observation.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Feb-14 20:14:17

Is it what you've planned that's the issue, or how you teach it?

The new observation criteria are bloody awful. I know loads of teachers who are normally outstanding who have got 3s or even 4s in the last year.

JakeBullet Fri 28-Feb-14 20:14:55

God I feel for you, I am not a teacher but DS's school have had OFSTED in for the past two days and one of his past teachers also hates observed lessons.....she got "good" this time whereas I would call her "outstanding".

I hope someone will come along who can help...your post just struck a chord with me after the past two days. Just sorry I cant be more help.....

manyhands Fri 28-Feb-14 20:22:10

It's what I plan I am getting some support with planning which I hope will help, I just seem to be on a downward spiral. My confidence is so low, I am missing my supply days!

manyhands Fri 28-Feb-14 20:23:34

I used to be outstanding or good with outstanding features, three years ago now I'd be delighted with a good.

JakeBullet Fri 28-Feb-14 20:29:00

Is it a vicious cycle? Your confidence is low so you feel extra pressured when being observed which in turn affects how you come across?

Your class runs smoothly and you like the children which tells me that in an unobserved capacity you are not getting things wrong.....it's the additional stress of the observation which causes issues.

manyhands Fri 28-Feb-14 20:36:42

Yes you are right. How do I break the cycle? I suspect I'm not an outstanding teacher but as you kindly say I'd know deep down is my class was choas and the kids not learning.

JakeBullet Fri 28-Feb-14 20:46:43

You say the HT is supportive....is this something you could talk to her about? I am floundering really as I am not a teacher so I don't know the usual procedures for this kind of thing.

I think you need to hang on to the fact that your class usually runs smoothly and so the children are likely to be learning effectively. Is the observer able to allow for your anxiety regarding being observed...or are they in "this is what OFSTED would do" and assess you to that standard. I am guessing that schools do practice runs to prepare for OFSTED.

mrscog Fri 28-Feb-14 20:52:54

Isn't the new framework ending grading of individual lessons? If so does it matter that much?

manyhands Sat 01-Mar-14 07:26:10

Thank you for all the advice. My head knows how nervous I get and does keep observations low key. Although the Ofsted framework has moved away from lesson gradings, schools haven't.

fatcheeks1 Sat 01-Mar-14 08:34:39

I sympathise manyhands as I am exactly the same.I am so bad I can barely drive to school I shake so much.I am often physically sick, I get the runs (sorry TMI) my voice shakes, I quite literally fall apart.I hate, hate, hate the way I am, I kick myself inwardly, as I should be used to it.I am currently in a school very close to going into SM and we have a lot and I mean A LOT of informal drop ins, walk by's, observations by SMT and LA bods.Can't help, sorry, but sympathise.Don't get specific feedback just general e.g the reception phase but I know when they are talking about me and it's usually not as favourably as the other 2 teachers.My school still grades/outsiders coming in still grade.
I normally get marked down for my timings, which I am working on.

Orangeanddemons Sat 01-Mar-14 08:38:57

Go to a hypnotist.

I'm like this, I hate hate hate being observed, fall apart at the thought of it.

Hypnosis works a treat...honest! Out of last 5 observations, 3 were outstanding, one good with outstanding and one good. I am now regarded as an outstanding teacher which is just so so weird, as I think I'm crapgrin. Please believe me when I say it's the best thing to do smile

I felt like this last year but have worked out two factors. One- you train your class in certain activities/systems which you do frequently. The other is in kagan cooperative learning, which allows the students to be doing everything and the focus is away from you. It's only obvious that you are a gibbering wreck if you are centre stage. If the students are doing interactive fun learning like quizquiztrade (which you have done before and trained them in) noone knows how you are doing. It helps up build confidence as well.

FirstVix Tue 04-Mar-14 01:12:44

I was like this and hope I have now broken the cycle...

What I did was..
Have a SHED load of data that showed measurable progress medium-term (eg test and retest on same sheet show 'Red' objectives have moved to 'green/amber')
Have clearly differentiated worksheets by physically having them in three colours so that 'non-specialists' could see that actually I had differentiated the damn work! I then directed certain students ('loudly') to certain starting points.
These things calmed my 'how can I porve...' type uncertainties so they weren't there interfering with my 'performance'
Finally, and most successfully for my nervousness, in my head I made my observers part of my class. I directed questions at them and paired one up with a 'singeton' student. I asked them how they would answer the question (please note, this will only work if you feel these colleagues will go with it). Most importantly - they felt they had learnt that lesson so OF COURSE the students had too (this will not work with a member of your department necessarily!).
All the other stuff - know targets, know how to improve etc had been things that I had been working on anyway so hadn't been an issue.

It really was that ability to assimilate my observers into my class that made the biggest difference as I was 'normal' me.

I got outstanding that time - go figure!

temporarilyjerry Thu 06-Mar-14 18:22:24

Is there anyone in the school that can run through your lesson plan before your observation? This is what was suggested on a course that I attended today.

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