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Dd's history lesson this week.

(94 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Fri 23-Nov-12 19:29:28

Well dd had another history lesson today. Previous thread about last week here.


Teacher came in and told the class she was stressed as she'd just been told the following lesson would be an observed lesson and told the class she hadn't planned the lesson. So she told them all to do a card matching game with some sort of history pictures so she could ignore the class and try and plan for the next lesson.

Dd says no one really knew what to do. Someone started messing about and threw a pen.

History teacher was nearly crying and begging them to behave. Told the, she was really stressed and she needed them to be quiet so she could do lesson prep.

I need to ring up don't I?

I didn't say that I plan my next lesson whilst I'm supposed to be teaching another but am actually ignoring a class. I said that if my children are doing an assessment, then I may well be doing some planning or marking as they do so (NOT for the next lesson). So be stunned all you like.

squeezedatbothends Fri 23-Nov-12 22:15:33

Still stunned.

So what DO you do if you've got a class of 16 year olds doing an assessment for an hour - sit and stare at them?

Am getting irrationally cross about this now.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 23-Nov-12 22:27:16

I can see it makes sense for a teacher to do other stuff if their class is doing an assessment, getting on with work.

But it's the fact that they seem to have been given the work so she could do something else that is what's bothering me. She wasn't making dds class her priority which she should have been.

I'm going to email. Am trying to draft something now.

Viva - I totally get that and think she was out of order, as I've said.

I'm just furious about people claiming to be 'stunned' that I would get on and do planning or marking (not go on Mumsnet or buy dresses or anything but to actually DO MY JOB) when my pupils are being assessed and therefore don't actually need me to be actively engaged with them at that time. And breathe, Remus.

BrianButterfield Fri 23-Nov-12 22:31:39

Remus, me too! GCSE classes doing Controlled Assessment - what else do you do other than go through your planner and get some planning sorted in advance (and yes, not for the next lesson, obviously). Are we supposed to just stare at them?

Thank you for being a voice of sanity, Brian. Perhaps our children are better behaved than others and don't need CONSTANT VIGILANCE on our behalf, to quote The Late Great Mad Eye Moody. smile

SchmancyPants Fri 23-Nov-12 22:37:27

Remus teacher here and I agree with you- it would be daft and a total waste of time to do nothing else whilst a class was completing an assessment, or doing something else that does not require teacher input. Today one of my year 10 classes spent 25 mins watching a section of a film and making notes in preparation for writing a monologue in character as one of the film characters. My other year 10 class spent 20 mins in silence completing a practice exam question. During both these periods of time I did my own work, including marking, planning and catching up on emails. It would be stupid not to.

Having said all that, OP, if this teacher is allowing the class to play games and watch videos in three lessons per fortnight- even if it is AB end of lesson reward- I don't think that's really on. I do this very occasionally but certainly not regularly and I wouldn't want a teacher in my department doing it in every or most lessons.

BrianButterfield Fri 23-Nov-12 22:39:39

I'm a rebel, me. I teach English and often start lessons with 10 minutes of silent reading, and sometimes I crack out the Kindle and sit back with a good book along with them! I don't pace the room or anything. That's just the sort of crazy iconoclast I am.

squeezedatbothends Fri 23-Nov-12 22:40:34

BrianButterfield, apart from controlled assessments (four hours in two years for one year group) what sort or activity would children be doing that didn't require your attention? What sort of teacher wouldn't be walking around, reading what children are writing, gently coaching, perhaps writing down notes for their assessment folders and being a presence in the room? I'm genuinely bewildered when I walk past classrooms and see people sitting at desks when there are children in the room.

BrianButterfield Fri 23-Nov-12 22:59:26

Maybe children don't actually need to be mithered by a teacher every second of their school lives? At some point they do need to just sit and do some work without anyone breathing down their necks. I hated it when teachers would read my work over my shoulder at school! Of course I circulate when I think it's necessary - but it isn't always necessary. With some classes I never sit down, with others I lead gently from the front (sitting down).

Anyway, you will never agree me with me, I can see. But a teacher sitting at a desk does not a terrible teacher make. Classes have been run like that for hundreds of years.

I rarely sit at my desk tbh: but I totally defend my right to do so if my pupils don't actively need me.

I agree that if they've been asked to do a task, sometimes it's the right thing to do if we just leave them to get on with it without constant mithering. It can be terribly off-putting to have somebody breathing down one's neck when writing, and my bright Yr 10s certainly don't need me to be doing that if they have already had plenty of active teaching and know exactly what the assessment entails.

And we have at least 8 hours of CAs in our single course and almost twice that in our double, not counting mocks and mini assessments etc.

BrianButterfield Fri 23-Nov-12 23:09:52

I used to feel very guilty about sitting down until I taught up until I was 38 weeks pregnant and had no choice in the matter. That was when I realised that my classes behaved just as well, if not better, without me patrolling them like a prison warden. I did the primary-teacher-in-the-1980s thing of getting kids to bring their work up to the front for me to look at, and they did it, and waited patiently for me to read it, listened to what I had to say and acted on it. What a revelation!

One of my GCSE courses has just masses of CA, too. Even when they're preparing I walk around saying "anyone want any help? Anyone? Please?" and they all say no and get straight on with it. It can happen.


Sorry for the hijack, Viva.

threepiecesuite Fri 23-Nov-12 23:12:11

I'm a teacher. I had a tough bottom set this afternoon, they were cranky, loud and tired. I threw on a few very tenuously linked video clips for the last 20 odd minutes. I've had no sleep after being up with my DD who has croup all night.
We all have bad days where we might just go for the easy option. But regularly? I'd keep an eye on this with a view to contacting the HOD.

squeezedatbothends Fri 23-Nov-12 23:13:27

Remus - Bright? Read Carol Dweck's book Mindsets the next time you're monitoring a controlled assessment and then you'll know better than to use that word.

Brian, I do completely agree with you on the silent reading idea - and in that case you are sharing a love of reading with the kids - can't see anything wrong with that. I think there's also a good case in point about mithering - there are definitely kids in all groups who prefer to be left alone, sort of 'in the zone' but for every one of them there's a kid who needs help. You can't tell that if you're sitting down doing something else. I suppose if you use the cups/cards idea you can see it they're all ok and don't need intervention, but I've never had a class where they're all on green.

Anyway, good night!

Mmm: if only monitoring pupils' confidence in a subject really was as easy as them picking a coloured card to display on the desk. And if only pupil success really was only a matter of calling or not calling them certain adjectives. Goodnight indeed.

TwllBach Fri 23-Nov-12 23:42:06

I had a cranky, rowdy, sopping wet class of 28 primary ages children yesterday. One of them had bought a DVD in to give to a friend and by the end f the day we were all tired an they asked if they could watch a bit. I leapt at the chance.

Only to remember my projector for the whiteboard is broken <sob>

ZZZenAgain Fri 23-Nov-12 23:49:15

Read your other thread which you linked to here. Sounds unprofessional. Is she really a qualified history teacher or is she standing in for another teacher? You will have to approach the school about it I am afraid

squeezedatbothends Sat 24-Nov-12 09:30:05

Remus - no I agree, monitoring confidence is a difficult task, but one that is more difficult to do from your chair when you're not even looking at them. And like I said, read the book and then perhaps you can make an informed contribution.

I give up, Squeezed. I'm an AST and if sitting at my desk doing work occasionally when my pupils are doing an assessment makes me not good enough in your eyes, then plenty of other people disagree with that view. Can't be bothered to argue.

Viva - how did your draft email go?

LIZS Sat 24-Nov-12 16:14:22

If she is being observed at short notice I wonder if she is already under some kind of mentoring system, or even disciplinary, perhaps because of previous concerns.

madwomanintheattic Sat 24-Nov-12 16:32:00

Lizs - my thoughts exactly.

The fact that they gave her one hour's notice of an observation suggests to me it was done quite deliberately, as they had received complaints from other parents or students, or concerns had been raised by other teachers about lack of planning and lesson structure.

Op, I suggest your complaint may only be adding to the rising concerns about this woman, but I would get it in, so that they can add to the file of evidence.

I'm pretty sure that even if she's going through Competency Procedures, they are not allowed to give such short notice for an obs. It's more likely that she had been given notice but because she's struggling, she'd not planned properly or had been putting it off in the hope that it might go away.

squeezedatbothends Sat 24-Nov-12 17:10:17

Remus - I bet you didn't sit at your desk when you went through your AST competency assessment did you? I certainly didn't. Still don't.

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