Class observations - advice to get the best out of it, please!

(5 Posts)
ceebie Thu 14-Jan-16 13:27:41

I have been given two days of Science class observations, my first step to deciding whether to follow this career path (I've read all the negative posts - I know, most would say don't do it!). If all goes well, I will arrange further days in different schools.

The observations will cover years 9 to 13. I don't know whether a range of abilities is covered. I will also have the opportunity to speak to the current Science trainees.

I would be grateful for your advice about how to get the most out the two days. Should I mostly passively observe and take notes, or offer to help out? I feel very rusty in terms of subject knowledge but persumably I don't need to worry about that at this stage and there's no merit in trying to find out what subject material is planned for those classes and swotting up? Is there any other preparation I should do?

The questions foremost in my mind a the moment relate to working hours (long - I know) to try to work out how to fit this career around my family life. However, this may not necessarily be the key thing that I should be focussing on - so any suggestions with respect to key questions I should be asking?

Thanks for your help!

hollieberrie Thu 14-Jan-16 17:15:21

I'm Primary so a bit different but advice i'd give to those considering a teaching career and going to spend time observing, is to get there early and help set up and to not rush off at 3.15 when the children leave.

Stay for a while and help - make the teacher a cuppa, ask if he/she would mind explaining what work they have to do now that the school day is over. See if you can you help (without them having to sit there going through everything for ages). Could you mark some books - maybe some basic bits where its just ticking and a short comment? Do some admin bits? Prep some resources for the next day? Put up a display? Highlight off some assessment? Its a good way of getting a better idea of the realities of the job without (hopefully) adding to the teachers workload.

IME its always the paper work & after hours side of the job that shocks new recruits.

Good luck!

ceebie Sat 16-Jan-16 12:55:16

Thank you very much; excellent advice!

BackforGood Sat 16-Jan-16 13:15:49

I agree with hollie - the most valuable time will be the time before and after school - apart from anything else, this is when the teacher will be able to talk to you, but it's when you will get to see all the crap work that needs to be done outside of teaching hours and it will give you a better idea.

TheTroubleWithAngels Sat 16-Jan-16 14:47:26

Be aware that the teacher might not want you hanging around for too long on your very first day there (unless you know them personally?). Show willing but tbh I'd expect you to leave by 3.15 ish (short debrief, quick chat, thanks very much, see you next week).

If you do go back, you will probably get more jobs to do then.

I would say go in with an open mind more than anything else.

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