Complaint from pupils about my lessons... Am I in trouble?

(9 Posts)
coolpaper Sun 13-Apr-14 21:06:18

Some pupils complaint to head about my lessons... They feel not stretched enough...ht talked to me so I will rethink SOW. I am drama teacher so a lot is practical based lessons and maybe pupils who prefer more content in lessons are not too happy. How shall I handle this? Ht did not mention the names of kids...

Curioushorse Sun 13-Apr-14 21:18:19

Hmmmm. Firstly I'd get you to reflect on it. Do you think there is any truth to the comment? If there is, obviously work on it.

What's your support like? Who is your line manager? Are there other Drama teachers in the dept., or are you the only one? It would be helpful, as a first step, to see what everybody else is doing. Could you perhaps ask to be observed by somebody you trust and like and get some feedback? Or maybe you could observe some practical lessons yourself?

I am a former Head of Drama, but am mainly an English teacher, really. I actually found Drama significantly easier to differentiate than English, just because so many of the tasks are skills-based and open ended. I know you're not supposed to 'differentiate by outcome' explicitly, but actually, Drama definitely does.

I'm sure you're doing all this stuff already, but do you have clear learning objectives in your lessons? And are you making a point of returning to those at the end of lessons to check they've been met?

Are you obviously differentiating, making a point of having a range of tasks for different abilities? Organising groups by ability, that sort of thing?

Coolpaper, I'm sure you're doing all that stuff already....maybe just make it more obvious? I'd also ask the head which class it was, as a start, and definitely make a point of concentrating hard on the lessons for that group in particular.

Alternatively, if you think it is the content that is the problem, there are always theory lessons, which you could give (though those may cause the rest of the class to complain!)?

EvilTwins Sun 13-Apr-14 22:09:21

What year? What was the content? I'm a drama teacher. Happy to help but I could do with more info.

Pagwatch Sun 13-Apr-14 22:13:02

I would hope the ht didn't name the pupils!
Do ou think there may be justification for their complaints?

coolpaper Mon 14-Apr-14 07:06:30

Well not all lessons are perfect... I think I will prepare sow with built in differentiatiin and ask ht to look at it, feel I need to prrof myself

2blackcats2 Mon 14-Apr-14 08:33:45

Gosh, I'd hope the HT would name the pupils! I'm sure the OP isn't going to be unprofessional around them but all the same, whether there is truth or not in the complaints going straight to the headteacher is a tad extreme. My headteacher would tell them to see me!

nicename Mon 14-Apr-14 08:43:41

Not a teacher - but have a child who does drama at school and goes to drama school classes.

I find that when they do improv, the kids think its playing and not 'real acting'. I can imaging a wannabe actor feeling that they aren't learning anything if they aren't learning scripts or doing semi-professional productions of Romeo and Juliet.

You need proper feedback - outlining specific complaints/concerns. How are you supposed to address it if you don't have the substance?

It may well be one pupil with a grudge or high opinion of their abilities who feels that they aren't treated like 'the star of the class' and is grumbling and pulling their classmates along in their complaints.

I assume you have lesson plans, so that can be used to evidence what they are doing. Does your school offer exttension classes in drama?

nicename Mon 14-Apr-14 08:46:40

Depending on their age, could you do a small questionnaire - like you get at conferences - asking opinions on the lessons and content and how they could be improved? Our son had these at one school when they were about 8 years old (a little early for complete honesty I think!).

chosenone Mon 14-Apr-14 08:53:12

Pupil voice activities can help here, structured so that you can find out which activities pushed your students along with what they enjiyed. A clear structure is paramount with some ks3 classes e.g. produ e this scene, using these skills in ten minutes then we will watch and evaluate. I also think separately designed tasks work well for differentiation. Explore the same topic/stimulus then one group create scene 1 before, one during, one after, one a news report based on scene 2 etc.
As long as you're being proactive and trying to respond to complaints and getting the support you need surely the HT will be happy with this ?

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