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Please help me with a lesson plan!

(12 Posts)
MagicSocks Mon 05-Dec-16 09:10:01

Hi all,

I'm a secondary school librarian and have only been in the job for one year. Last year I took quite a few library lessons but this year they're part of the English timetabling and there's a new head of English who is quite pushy about things.

Anyway she wants me to do a creative-writing themed Christmassy lesson for year 7 and has demanded to see a lesson plan. I don't honestly have a clue about lesson planning and although I'm happy to take a lesson she really didn't give me a lot of scope in that she specifically wants it to be festive and creative writing-based. I realise that's not rocket science but I'm quite nervous about the lesson plan, she's very box ticky and I'm struggling to come up with anything that sounds good!

They're all studying A Christmas Carol and doing creative tasks on that, a lesson I covered had them writing a diary entry from the point of view of a member of the Cratchit family.

I know it sounds ridiculous but I've had loads of other stuff on my plate and I'm just not feeling that inspired, I need ideas of Christmas scenes from children's books basically! I know there's a good one in Harry Potter, there's obviously the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, and Little Women. What else?? Ooh, there's an Australian Christmas scene in Two Weeks with the Queen I've just remembered! grin Could I include poetry?

How does this plan sound:
Starter activity - read Christmassy extracts and pay attention to the way in which language creates the atmosphere (?)
Main activity - not sure?? Write your own description of a memorable Christmas? OR imagine you're writing a scene from your own book focusing on Christmas - realistic or fantasy OR write a poem about Christmas
Lastly I just thought I'd give them some time to choose books to read in the holiday but not sure if that's allowed to be part of a lesson plan. I'm pretty clueless about all this.

I did think it could be fun to make it a writing competition and they can give in their entries over Christmas. But then what do we do in the lesson itself?

Gaah I'm sorry about this, I feel silly asking but if any experienced teachers could help I'd be massively reassured!

OP’s posts: |
fourcorneredcircle Mon 05-Dec-16 09:48:38

Hang on, I'm confused.

You are a qualified librarian but not a teacher? But these classes have a timetabled library lesson once a week when they are with you. In this time I'd expect a librarian to be doing reading themed activities... helping students find books... understand the referencing system... encouraging paired reading... maybe taking some stronger & weaker readers under their wing to get them "into" libraries. Perhaps a themed reading event.

Is there no English teacher present? Why on earth is it acceptable for the English department to require you to "teach" what sounds like an English lesson? Especially one that focuses on writing over reading!

I think your school are taking the piss and using you as a cheap timetable filler. Is this an academy?

fourcorneredcircle Mon 05-Dec-16 09:54:25

Ok, a quick google throws up this. Could you adapt one of the suggested KS3 activities?

www.sla.org.uk/learning-and-teaching.php

That HOD is taking the piss by asking you to teach a writing lesson. That's her job.

MagicSocks Mon 05-Dec-16 10:16:25

Fourcornered, I'm glad you agree. It's highly irritating. I was thinking of doing some lessons focusing on using reference books, study skills etc, plus some 'fun' reading lessons, looking at different genres etc. She was just very high-handed about it, and sent out a long email to the English teachers asking if they were happy with this plan (that she came up with) and whether they envisioned or foresaw any problems or issues. She over-writes everything. Now I just feel it looks as if I'm muscling in and doing what is basically an English lesson, not of my own choosing. And of course she wants a lesson plan even though she's basically told me what she wants? She's not my line manager and I'm not a member of the English department but when we met she was asking me what I felt had gone well and what hadn't gone so well. Just fuck off, seriously.

Will have a look at the link.

OP’s posts: |
MagicSocks Mon 05-Dec-16 10:20:01

In answer to your question, yes it is an academy. I'm happy to do the lessons but it's not a library lesson really, I would prefer to do the kinds of things you mentioned in your first post. The issue is lessons this year aren't timetabled to me, they're part of the English timetable. So she's being high-handed about it.

Ironically last year they couldn't recruit an English teacher and asked me to step in with a year 7 class for two terms. Not a single lesson plan was I asked for, in fact little to no support was forthcoming. But now it's gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in a rather insulting way really.

OP’s posts: |
GraceGrape Mon 05-Dec-16 10:20:48

Do you have a job description? I would seriously speak to your line manager about this. Fair enough for you to plan some reading-based activities but creative writing is the job of an English teacher.

GraceGrape Mon 05-Dec-16 10:21:50

Is the English teacher present during the library sessions?

MagicSocks Mon 05-Dec-16 10:27:33

Agreed. Presence of the English teacher varies. I prefer them not to be as they just sit there observing and I find it makes me terribly self-conscious and then I fluff things. Will speak to my line manager.

OP’s posts: |
fourcorneredcircle Mon 05-Dec-16 12:18:48

Please do speak to your line manager. (Idly wonders who line manages librarians in a school... never thought about it before!)

I don't know about you but I hate approaching my line manager when I'm asked told to do something that's well out of my role, I feel very awkward as schools have such a culture of "just get on with it, everyone's life is hard" but it's so important to do it, especially when someone is not asking for a one off favour but seems to be actively trying to change your role!

MagicSocks Mon 05-Dec-16 13:14:30

I've emailed my line manager. I hope it didn't sound too wingey. I actually quite like doing the lessons, just don't want to take a lesson away from a qualified English teacher to teach a lesson that would be more appropriate from them, while they watch hmm.

OP’s posts: |
MagicSocks Mon 05-Dec-16 14:05:22

She says she tends to agree with me and will have a tactful word smile

OP’s posts: |
fourcorneredcircle Mon 05-Dec-16 14:13:55

Excellent... now you can get on with planning some appropriate library activities! fgrin

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