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What's the most useless piece of feedback you have received after a lesson observation?

(94 Posts)
LizzieVereker Thu 19-Sep-13 23:10:43

It's lesson observation time at our school, and everyone is getting anxious and comparing notes. I always promise myself I won't get worked up, but I always do grin.

To cheer myself up, and to remind myself that judgements can be a bit abitrary, I wondered if fellow teachers would share the most pointless feedback they have received. I would like to offer the following:

"Just do exactly what you are doing but better!" (said to a colleague who asked for specific strategies to move a lesson from good to outstanding)

"Why did you waste 10 minutes having them read the book aloud? Wouldn't it just be easier to show them the film?" (said to me, an English teacher).

And my personal nadir of feedback bollocks: "you achieved the objectives, the behaviour was excellent, they all made progress, but it just didn't feel right. So I'm grading it "requires improvement"...

Anyone got any more?

Neverhere Mon 23-Dec-13 10:31:19

I was once told I couldn't have outstanding for meeting individuals needs because my statemented child (despite having peer support and a slightly differentiated task she could access and still achieve the lo) didn't have a ta. This was by the head - who decided my class didn't need a ta - ever - despite nearly 50% SEN, said statement and at the beginning of the year - big behavior problems.

prettypurpledaisy Sun 22-Dec-13 14:36:13

From my GTP observation 'you are too enthusiastic'.

AnUnearthlyChild Sat 21-Dec-13 18:53:59

I'm not a teacher and this is making me cross.

I don't want demoralised teachers who are fed up of petty shite teaching my kids.

raggedmum Sat 21-Dec-13 18:42:56

I was told my pencils in the pencil pots weren't sharp enough fbiscuit

stripeyshoes Thu 19-Dec-13 03:49:01

Wow - just wow!

LizzieVereker Thu 12-Dec-13 22:04:44

What did the observer want, Pink , a chorus line of female teachers, do you think?

PinkPeanuts Thu 12-Dec-13 21:59:56

We recently had OFSTED in and I was observed teaching an A Level ICT class that happens to be all boys although school is mixed. When I went in for my feedback I was told that the lesson was judged as good but what stopped it from being outstanding was that the inspector couldn't understand why the class was "one female teacher teaching a group that is all boys" confused

fedup21 Mon 02-Dec-13 21:57:54

These people are actually paid large sums of money for saying such banal and unhelpful things-it's ridiculous!

ReluctantBeing Mon 02-Dec-13 21:56:36

I once got criticised for neatness too, when I used the same pen in my planner and was accused of planning in retrospect. Sigh.

ReluctantBeing Mon 02-Dec-13 21:52:20

An assistant head observed me a couple of weeks ago. He told me that I should have used a capital letter after a colon. Idiot.

fedup21 Sun 01-Dec-13 17:31:48

Where's the two way process for this ridiculous process!? We should be able to state how happy we are with the observations-how helpful the comments are etc and they should be judged when they'd said stupid things!!

MissMillament Sun 01-Dec-13 16:10:28

Colleague was recently given a good but told as a criticism that the lesson 'wouldn't have worked with a different class'.
Well, duh...

sheridand Sun 01-Dec-13 12:22:49

"Could you reduce the smell in the room?"
Um, no. Not unless I personally purchased all the teenagers who need it anti-perspirent and plonked plug-ins into every socket. Or moved the classroom so it wasn't in the middle of the suns' glare all day throughout June.

spanieleyes Sun 01-Dec-13 11:52:55

Your children are too well behaved!

OK, perhaps I should organise a small riot in the corner of the room for the next time grin

ravenAK Sun 01-Dec-13 01:40:18

Oh I've had the one about neatness!

My planning is on Excel spreadsheet, as per SLG 'good practice' examples.

I don't actually mind - it probably doesn't make me teach any better, but I quite enjoy a bit of nerdy Excel-tweaking & so my planner sheets now look lovely.

I update them all in my free period on Friday afternoon, for the week just gone, & cut'n'paste as much of the next week as I can predict from our Departmental medium term plans.

It's a completely useless free anyway, period 6 on a Friday; I'm always too tired to do anything genuinely productive, so I may as well make my planning look pretty.

I then use 'insert comment' for any subsequent annotations through the week eg. 'Freddy absent, arrange to complete CA with 11B Monday p.3' or 'additional speech marks HW set, uploaded to VLE <pathway>' or 'L4 kids need differentiated article, find & email to <LSA> by Thurs'.

SLG have told me that my planning's great, but can I print it off & write the annotations on by hand? Otherwise - like GeorgianMumto5 - I risk it looking as if I've written it all up in one go.

I've bought a pack of different coloured gel pens to scrawl with hmm.

GeorgianMumto5 Sat 30-Nov-13 23:06:25

Apparently it made it look as if my observations and planning were all written up in one go, as opposed to through the week. I was quite offended at the time, as this was far from the truth - I was just neat and loved y fountain pen. Wrote the next week's planning and assessments in an assortment of media, including pink crayon. Tutor saw it and said, 'Well done! This is a significant improvement.'


Funnily enough, a tutor at sixth form had a go at me for neat handwriting too, but she was just very strange. Same woman once berated me in front of the class for, '...thinking I could submit an A-level standard of essay,' and she, 'hoped no one else was thinking this would be acceptable.'

That course was at GCSE level. The woman was incensed...and a little odd. Part of me would love to see her now and reassure her that my handwriting has gone downhill in the intervening years.

fedup21 Sat 30-Nov-13 10:04:18

How can handwriting being too neat possibly be a negative?!

GeorgianMumto5 Thu 28-Nov-13 22:52:02

'Your handwriting is very neat.' As a negative point. It was a teaching practice observation, back in the days when planning was handwritten, in my case, too neatly.

I have to say, I actually snorted at that.

LittleMachine Thu 28-Nov-13 17:11:43

My colleague got a 3 yesterday because some of the nursery children were playing side by side and not together.

Yes. Nursery children. For whom this is a normal stage of development. confused

MrsYoungSalvoMontalbano Wed 27-Nov-13 17:18:47

Today I got feedback for being too nice - thanking pupils for things I should take for granted as is 'my classroom' and apologising if I make a mistake. I need to work on being less nice. Never mind about the fact that the person observing me has appalling discipline problems, and that when I took on this class from her they were feral - they are now calm, working, learning and progressing and being courteous to me and each other... No perfect, but generally well-behaved teenagers. Oh and the class of 28 has 8 SEN (BESD/SLC/ASD), 4 EAL and 12 PP.

teacherandguideleader Tue 26-Nov-13 22:08:24

I mainly get 1s and 2s these days but got 3s at my previous school (read prison). Once I got a 3 because I walked around the room too slow. I also got a 3 from on ofsted inspector who thought the work was too easy for 15 year olds - he clearly hadn't read the bit that said it was an SEN class - the number of statements should have been a giveaway (he also played on his phone the entire time).

Cataline Sun 10-Nov-13 13:46:20

I have had to wait two weeks for feedback from my last two obs. When I've finally managed to corner the HT, the feedback given was "yeah it was good" and "all fine, no worries".
This is after being put on capability last year for an 'unsatisfactory' obs . (which came about because of serious mental health problems). Really helpful!!
We've got obs across the school in the next few weeks. When I made my appt with the HTs secretary, I also made one for later that afternoon and asked her to label it 'feedback session' in the diary.

AliceinSlumberland Sun 10-Nov-13 13:38:08

I'm doing teacher training at the minute and had my first observation last week. One of the criticisms was that the classroom displays (done by the teacher, not me I might add!) didn't match my lesson.....

LittleMachine Sun 10-Nov-13 13:32:09

Crazy ninah! I got a 3 for my exciting activity with independent learning confused
I'm yet to receive any targets, 6 months later. Despite it apparently being so crap.

ninah Sun 10-Nov-13 11:40:18

oh yes Little Machine, I am in EYFS and I share your pain. Ofsted chap who came to us just didn't get child initiated at all. Ten minutes before obs HT tells me I have to do Maths, instead of phonics as timetabled, 'and he wants to see you teaching. Cue bewildered 4 year olds sitting in groups for a Y1 lesson. That part got a good shock

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