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interview for year 1 teaching job, would this work for a lesson observation?

(22 Posts)
willchooseanamelater Tue 26-Jun-12 20:12:55


Wondered if any of you kind teachers would be able to give me some advice?

I'm trying to return to teaching after a 4 year break, most of my experience is in early years teaching but I have applied for a part-time Year 1 teaching post and -by-some-miracle- been invited for an interview -eek!
I have to do a 15 minute input, in any subject area, with current reception class. It doesn't have to contain any 'serous teaching content' but is more to give an idea of my manner and interaction with the class, and should be 'inspirational'. Feeling a bit rusty as haven't taught in 4 years but hoping that teaching is a bit like riding a bike and that you never forget how to do it!
So far, my favoured idea is bringing a 'magic carpet' to travel on and a 'magic telescope' and taking them on a journey, letting them lead with ideas of lands we could visit, what we could see, and bringing in a bit of drama/actions to keep things interesting.
Not sure whether to use an enormous 'throw' big enough for the whole class or whether to use something smaller so onnly 2/3 children are actually on it at a time?
Please would you let me know if you think this would work as the basis of the observation or if I need to start again?
Many Thanks

mypersonalfavourite Tue 26-Jun-12 20:36:36

Disclaimer - I'm not early years!

That sounds lovely. Initially I thought all on a big carpet but if you have a smaller one the other children could ask questions about what the ones on the carpet can see. This might keep them under control a little bit and give more chance for them to do the thinking and share their ideas with the class.

Not sure what they'd ask apart from, "what an you see?" though!

Or maybe if you have them all on the carpet, they could, think, pair, share and feed back to you what they saw as a class. Or they could think, then discuss it with their partner, practise what animals they imagine and act out the animal for the class.

15 minutes is tight though and I'd worry that by the time you've explained everything your time might be up.

If they're really just looking at how you interact, might it be simpler to read a book and get them to act out each scene. Where the wild things are springs to mind. Yo could read once, get them to pretend to be naughty max, then going over the ocean, then be the monsters, have the rumpus with some music playing.

It would give a clear structure to your input, manages the pace nicely, shows you're imaginative but you can also show off your behaviour management rounding them up for the next scene. Give out stickers for use of really descriptive words when they describe what they're doing. That also would show off your questioning technique. And if time runs away a bit you can skip scenes but still get your lesson point across.

willchooseanamelater Tue 26-Jun-12 20:55:11

Thanks for such a speedy and thorough reply. I'd considered doing a story based activity, hadn't thought of' where the wild things are' but i can see how that would work. Other stories I'd considered were The Enormous Turnip or We're Going on a Bear Hunt.....hmmm think I need to mull it over a bit longer. I really like the points and suggestions in your last paragraph.

It's really difficult without knowing the children. I want it to be just the right level of controlled excitement, not total chaos or dullness!
Thanks Again!

mypersonalfavourite Tue 26-Jun-12 21:30:03

Good luck!

slp123 Tue 26-Jun-12 21:57:36

In the past I did an assembly with FS age children (so a bit younger but this could be adaptable). Had a bag of things that a pet would need, get volunteers to pull out one at a time and discuss why pet needs them, also had a rabbit puppet in a cardboard cage that the children loved. Then read mog and the vet. Just an idea really that could be adapted in lots of ways. Talking partners tell each other about pets or what they would like to have as pet or ideas how look after etc. sorry this post isn't very eloquent but had a long day.

wild Tue 26-Jun-12 22:04:19

I like your props. I would have a smaller carpet and get children to take turns. That way you have a behaviour management incentive and some excitement. I would base the journey, as mpf says, on a book to give it some kind of structure. Could you find out their current topic and link in with that?
I would explain that you would put the props into free play afterwards and observe the role play maybe with a focus on CLL? Disclaimer I am an NQT without a job yet EEK but I did my time EYFS as an EYE

wild Tue 26-Jun-12 22:05:59

or adapt a book to suit your props - we're going on a treasure hunt?

Hulababy Tue 26-Jun-12 22:09:06

I think a smaller carpet might be easier to manage. You could get the children to sit in a circle and have the magic carpet in the middle. Get them all talk to a partner about what they would imagine . Then choose a couple to sit on it and get others to ask questions. Maybe model a couple of questions first. You'll not get through them all so maybe say at end that you hope one day to come back so they can all have a go. smile Good luck, it sounds fun!

Not a teacher anymore (was secondary) but currently work as a HLTA in Y1.

ImaginateMum Tue 26-Jun-12 22:17:06

Fifteen minutes is very short to set up and run something, especially as a new person with the whole class.

Could you have something they look through instead (e.g. periscope, magnifying glass, binoculars) that they took turns having - that way you can control it that only the person with the object speaks.

Or have a range of bags with "feeling" items, looking at items, smelling items, etc, that are all clues to a journey they end up taking. e.g. smell a pineapple, feel a banana, look in a box and see a giraffe, etc, and they work out they are going to Africa and you then read Handa's surprise?

I think with 15 minutes you will need it to be clear that one child is speaking and the rest listening. That way, if an instruction is going badly/not understood, you are only trying to get through to that one child or you can ask the next child to have a go.

ImaginateMum Tue 26-Jun-12 22:21:44

(Sorry - should add that I am not a teacher!)

willchooseanamelater Wed 27-Jun-12 14:32:48

Thankyou all for taking the time to reply. It's really helpful to hear the different opinions and ideas.

Think I am going to go with the magic carpet idea, have ordered 'My Granny Went to Market' from Amazon about a granny who flies around the world on a magic carpet visiting different countries so am hoping to incoorporate this somehow. It is also a counting book, so I can talk lots about linking different areas of learning and how my lesson would fit within a bigger topic. The book should arrive tomorrow morning and my interview is on Friday so hoping to get the final planning done tomorrow night.

The annoying thing is that this is just the kind of activity that I have done many times 'off the cuff', following the childrens own ideas and interests, I'm just feeling a really daunted as am so out of practice. Maybe I'll use DD1 as my guinea pig tomorrow night!

Am also trying to research likely questions specifically relating to teaching Y1, obviously phonics and transition from FS curriculum/classroom are likely to come up. Can anyone think of any other obvious ones?

wild Wed 27-Jun-12 18:54:45

qs - is there any provision for outdoor learning in Y1?
does school use IPC?
Good luck!

willchooseanamelater Wed 27-Jun-12 19:26:12

ooh yes, good point about outdoor learning. I'm probably going to sound really ignorant but what is IPC. Have googled and seems to be International Primary Curriculum, is it an alternative curriculum that some schools follow? Is it massively different?

wild Thu 28-Jun-12 22:35:26

yes int prim curriculum, it's topic based. I was thinking along the lines of how school bridges transition from EYFS to NC and topics can provide a line of continuity
may not be relevant was just trying to think of some options! Good luck
will, I have an interview next week too! yay! I love the school and want the job badly. 30 mins literacy for Y1/2 mixed ability class. go the w's

willchooseanamelater Fri 29-Jun-12 12:47:03

Have just found out I got the job! Thanks for all the input and suggestions. The children enjoyed their magic carpet ride, and even I enjoyed it a little bit!

Good luck wild for next week, am sure you'll do well, you seem like you know your stuff! You're probably familiar with it already but the TES website resources section has lots of examples of interview questions for teaching jobs

Hulababy Fri 29-Jun-12 16:59:57

Well done!

wild Sun 01-Jul-12 21:35:04

wow congraulations! super news
I have just found out I have 2 interviews on 2 consecutive days. The first school I know, like - is v local - but the contract is temporary. The second one is in a special school and is part-time but permanent. Both are dream jobs in most aspects. What happens if I am lucky enough to be offered the first one? I am going to have to make an immediate response, aren't I? and let the second one go? I haven't had the chance to look round the special school the recruitment process is a full day including tour, so I've no idea what it's like (just heard lots of good things and have an interest in SEN)

crazycurly Fri 03-May-13 20:03:37

Hi. I have an interview on Thursday. I have planned for a lesson with a similar concept about a magic paintbrush. I was just curious willchooseanamelater if I could view your plans as a comparison? It would be of great help being an NQT. Particular in terms of timings and pace of lesson.
It sounds like you covered all elements to impress and was wondering whether my idea does the same.
My email is
Many Thanks,

mrz Sat 04-May-13 08:24:47

Unless you can come up with something unique I would avoid well known books. I once had to watch 4 lessons all based on We're going on a bear hunt and the 5th candidate was the successful one.

I like the magic carpet/telescope idea - 15 minutes isn't long to develop the activity so I suggest you are prepared to explain where the lesson would progress. Good Luck

Cam9 Fri 17-May-13 11:38:54

willchooseanamelater - COngratulations - your lesson sounds amazing!! Im a PGCE student looking for my first job and I have an interview Tuesday - I love your cross curricula links but what subject area did you choose as your main focus?

claireeyfs Thu 12-Jun-14 17:41:00

Hi wwillchooseanamelater. Congratulations on the job. I have a lesson planned using a magic shell, I was wondering if you could send me the plan you did? think it will be useful to see the content, pace etc.

picklejojo2 Tue 03-Nov-15 15:58:24

I have a 30 min lesson to do in a year 1 class. I have chosen adding coins and identifying the value of each coin. I will start with coins recognition then sowing items with price tags and invite chn to chose the correct coins to pay. This is the whole class activity followed by independent work adding coins. How does this sound? reply promptly!

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