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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?


Sorry Viva. Am leaving this thread alone now. Good luck with the school.

neontetra Sat 24-Nov-12 17:28:47

Well, I'm in leadership at my school with responsibilty for t+l, and we're a really successful school, and I'd employ remus over squeezed every time, as she sounds like she'd be better at encouraging independent learning in the students! And more modest/realistic, important skills in coaching other staff, which I assume as ASTs you both do.
And gosh I am annoyed with myself for getting drawn in. OP, report your concerns to school - they will investigate and if nothing untoward is occurring there will be no harm done!

Tigerstripes Sat 24-Nov-12 22:11:28

Goodness, if the kids are at the point of doing an assessment, then surely the work should be their own, not interfered with by the teacher. If they can't do it, then their level/grade/band will be low. I certainly wouldn't be patrolling the class when mine are doing the assessment, or what's the point of it in the first place? I mark, plan, whatever and I am genuinely surprised by squeezed and her school.

Viva, please come back and tell us about your email and how it goes. It does sound like the teacher is having issues. Does your dd know if she is new to the school?

squeezedatbothends Sun 25-Nov-12 00:30:53

The thing is you seem to be confusing assessment (formative) with grading (summative). Neontetra, thankfully, since I already do your job, I won't be coming to you for employment. As an ofsted inspector who resigned when Wilshaw came into power, i'd say you're both in trouble. I was a puussycat in comparison to those who are heading your way...

BooksandaCuppa Tue 27-Nov-12 18:51:52

Any update, Viva? <ds is doing his 'medieval church hegemony' homework; it made me think of you!>

Tigerstripes Tue 27-Nov-12 21:24:06

Well I didn't name the controlled assessment so I'm not confused thank you. I am using the given name. And as SLT has seen fit to introduce 'controlled assessment' throughout key stage 3 as well, this is what we do and this is what we call it. Now please stop being disingenuous. Thank you.

Sparrows12 Tue 27-Nov-12 21:39:58

I would ring out of concern for her. We had an incident I reported recently when children were videoing their teacher's performance on a mobile phone to collect evidence about the quality of the teaching. I found this shocking but some of the parents thought it was an enterprising idea!

deleted203 Wed 28-Nov-12 04:06:09

I'm slightly stunned that any teacher could not have 'planned' her next lesson TBH. Whether it was going to be observed or not. We fairly often have SLT drop ins where they appear for ten minutes or so, just to see what is going on, with no warning whatsoever. It doesn't faze me as I'm generally pretty happy with my classes and not worried if anyone else wanders in to watch for a bit. The idea of not having a clue what I was doing next lesson, even without an observer, is hideous. The lesson would be crap basically. This teacher sounds fairly incompetent. (Although as a History teacher I'm still reeling from Nicky Minaj's boobs as a topic).

Brycie Wed 28-Nov-12 04:32:28

"If she was really given an hour's notice of an observation that is shockingly bad practice on the school's part."

I don't understand why this is bad. All teachers should be giving good lessons all the time.

It might be bad practice but it's not a bad thing. The school is obviously concerned about her and with good reason. Your daughter is not getting any useful history teaching. She should be taken away from the classroom and given more training and a supply teacher who can teach a different history lesson should be in place until she can perform.

Brycie Wed 28-Nov-12 04:33:14

Tbh - 30 children - one teacher. I'm more concerned about the children.

radicalsubstitution Wed 28-Nov-12 08:25:39

a supply teacher who can teach a different history lesson should be in place until she can perform

Yeah, right. The reality is that the children will be exposed to an array of general supply teachers or cover supervisors or covering teachers who spend the entire time marking while the children work in silence on dull and uninspiring worksheets. That is the reality of what will happen if the teacher is 'remoed' from post or, more likely, goes off sick with stress.

The unfortunate reality is that many headteachers are woefully lacking when dealing with underperforming teachers. Rather than supporting and offering guidance, they resort to bullying and setting of unrealistic targets. As is the case in loads of professions, the teacher then gets themselves signed off with stress (with good reason - they are often put under incredible pressure to meet utterly unrealistic targets and timescales) and the children ultimately pay the price by going from poor to non-existent teaching.

Brycie Wed 28-Nov-12 08:32:47

Oh fine, supply teachers are crap too? Timetable them maths then or find them a teahcer who can teach anything and can teach them that. There's no point in pretending they're learning history.

Brycie Wed 28-Nov-12 08:34:59

I assume you aren't suggesting that all teachers supply or currently out of work are rubbish and incapable of teaching a decent lesson.

Brycie Wed 28-Nov-12 08:37:54

Or maybe it's all the headteacher's fault or the parents' fault. Maybe it's the child's fault for telling her mother what is going on.

fuzzpig Wed 28-Nov-12 08:57:28

Any news viva?

radicalsubstitution Wed 28-Nov-12 14:51:43

Brycie, I'm not saying that underperforming teachers should not be dealt with, nor removed from the classroom.

There are teachers out there who are not up to standard. Some are very inexperienced, and get much better very rapidly over a relatively short period of time. Some teachers have huge changes in circumstances which mean they can't cope for a period of time with their current workload. Some teachers (thankfully a tiny minority or none in most schools) are just plain crap.

As I said, some headteachers are not the greatest at identifying the best strategies for dealing with underperforming teachers. Inexperienced teachers get much better with the right support, training and mentoring. Teachers struggling with personal circumstances may be helped by going part time or relinquishing responsibility posts. Crap teachers need to be out of the profession if they don't show the capability to improve.

Too often, headteachers use tactics when trying to 'manage' underperforming teachers that leave them wide open to union intervention or even successful tribunal claims.

Either way, it would be very rare for a school to choose to, or even be able to, replace a poor or off-sick-with-stress teacher with anything other than a short-term supply teacher or cover supervisor.

Cover supervisors - employed by many schools - are often not qualified teachers. They merely 'supervise' students completing work set by someone else. Short-term supply teachers don't mark work, carry out assessments, write reports or attend parents' evenings. Long-term supply would only be used if the long-term nature of the absence had already been determined.

Either way, it is not a great state of affairs for the students, but it is up to the SMT to ensure that this is dealt with in a way that doesn't leave them wide open to a successful claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

What some headteachers are guilty of - and the blame must be laid entirely at their door - is 'recycling' poor teachers. Rather than following procedures and dismissing inadequate teachers, they 'persuade them to find employment elsewhere' - often in another school - with an agreed acceptable reference. How does this help the situation?

Brycie Wed 28-Nov-12 21:10:53

It's a terrible state of affairs for the students, not just "not great". It's appalling.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 29-Nov-12 19:05:12

Right, have just sent the following;

I’m writing with some concerns about my daughter’s history lessons which I’d like to raise.

xx has told me about a few different incidents where it seems that there’s not a major focus on history.

One of her first lessons the teacher stopped a documentary as according to xx the teacher said the kids looked bored. The teacher then invited children to come and draw on figures/people on the board. .

Another lesson the teacher showed them You Tube videos of different Gangnam Style versions.

Last week the children were given a card matching exercise to do which was history based. However the teacher told the children that she was really stressed as she had an observed lesson for the next lesson which she needed to prepare for. xx says that she felt she couldn’t ask her teacher anything as the teacher appeared so stressed and had her head down in paperwork for the full lesson.

Today xx says that they did do some history but approx the last quarter of the lesson was spent watching YouTube videos of theme tunes from childrens’ TV shows. xx says she was still trying to complete the earlier work for which she needed to look at the board but as children were requesting different songs/theme tunes the teacher kept turning the board (projector?) over to YouTube so xx says she then couldn’t carry on with her work. The teacher told them that as some of the theme tunes were from the 1990s it was history. However I was under the impression that the topic area for the class was Stone Age and Iron Age so I don’t understand how this is relevent.

I do appreciate that there may be some times where its felt the children deserve a treat, etc. However there just seems to be a surprising amount of it.

Brycie Thu 29-Nov-12 22:17:19

Good. Send another one tomorrow if you don't get a reply saying i would appreciate an acknowledgment of my previous etc etc. Get your daughter to tell you waht happens in every hstory lesson, write it down and email it every day if they're all as crappy as they have been so far.

This teacher should not be in the classroom at all.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 29-Nov-12 22:20:39

Thanks Brycie. Do you think the email sounded ok then? I'm just a bit worried that they're going to think I'm making a fuss over nothing. I'm dreading an email coming back saing that they've spoken to the teacher who denies it was anything like this and that dd must be exaggerating, etc.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 29-Nov-12 23:03:42

They might try to suggest she's exaggerating; surely they won't come back and say that's a fuss over nothing...Maybe check with dd that there are other students happy to back her up (who are not pleased with just dossing every lesson!). Did you not mnetion the boob job lesson??!!

Sorry I can't be of more help, viva:-(

Hope you get a reasonable response soon.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 29-Nov-12 23:15:42

Also, and this is a really flippant and unhelpful observation, but this teacher sounds about 12 years old. Anything that happened before today is history? Well, yes, of course, technically it is; but to try and justify her lack of lesson content is this way sounds ridiculously immature.

If you hadn't contacted the school, Viva, you would have been doing your dd and the rest of her classmates a disservice (always supposing no-one else has bothered). Good luck.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 29-Nov-12 23:27:55

I suppose even if the school come back and say its all been a misunderstanding and the teacher says its only for 2 mins at the end of the lesson, etc. At least this should maybe make the teacher pull her socks up.

Same teacher takes some of dd's friends for geography and apparently is the same in her geography lessons. It's all YouTube videos, etc.

I'm just glad that dd doesn't get her for geography as well!

BooksandaCuppa Thu 29-Nov-12 23:35:24


TheWintersTale Thu 29-Nov-12 23:38:51

Email sounds fine. Am shock at what's been going on in your DD's lessons. I once worked with a teacher who, it transpired, had been showing YouTube clip after YouTube clip on subjects tenuously linked with what she was teaching, for the best part of a term. She got away with it until a parent raised it. Will be very interested to see what the school say.

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