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Why should I stay? 14 years in.

(34 Posts)
OneOfTheGrundys Thu 27-Jun-19 10:04:12

And just been told by Ofsted inspector I ‘talked too much’ as obs feedback.

I was modelling (with class) analytical writing of Shakespeare’s language choices. To HA Year 7.

Apparently they should just be allowed to do it and ‘have a go’. But as I don’t know any 12 year olds who read literary analysis in their spare time... how would they know what to do?

For the first time I feel like packing it in. If this is how we’re held accountable I have no idea what teaching should be any more.

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likeafishneedsabike Thu 27-Jun-19 12:33:48

So sorry that you’ve got this nonsense to contend with. However, I wonder if they want Y7 English to look a bit more like primary English? DS aged 9 does a ‘cold write’ at the beginning of a unit and then a ‘gold write’ at the end. So, they have a crack at writing a speech with no input from teacher, then they spend a week learning DAFOREST (or whatever skill set) and put all that into action. I assume the idea is to demonstrate progress across the week. Maybe this is what the inspector was getting at when he/she/it made it too personal by saying you talked too much?

noblegiraffe Thu 27-Jun-19 13:23:26

Ofsted inspector needs to get with the times! Get on twitter, currently lots of education peeps discussing how in the ‘bad old days’ of 2007 ‘you talked too much’ would have been seen as valid feedback.

You’re the expert imparting knowledge. Kids having a go is a bollocks technique for acquiring knowledge. Maybe they should discover calculus in maths too? Or quantum physics?

So ignore the inspector, he’s bad at his job, not you.

OneOfTheGrundys Thu 27-Jun-19 13:47:36

Thank you both. The thing with the cold/gold is that I know they can’t do it! I marked their mock papers and this needs work!!

I love edu Twitter noble . It’s not enough right now though. I’m a teacher in a core subject that has only had 50% staff coverage this year (department of 8). Rest has been cover. Other subjects have been praised for consistency when they number 2 or 3 members of staff. One size fits all and management’s dissatisfaction with core departments is palpable today.

Thank you again for your responses. I just feel a little part of me died inside yesterday. A little light just went out and I can’t seem to find it again. Leaving teaching never seemed more sensible.

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fedup21 Thu 27-Jun-19 13:52:55

Ridiculous feedback-how bloody dare they.

Leave-I won’t be far behind you. Am only sorry to have wasted the last 20 years.

PenguinsRabbits Thu 27-Jun-19 14:05:23

Not a teacher but I have a year 7 and a year 8 and can confirm absolutely no voluntary literary analysis goes on and both definitely need teacher to explain. Both in top set.

I would just ignore that piece of advice. DD in particular much prefers English teachers who explain often explaining a few times. Maths they will do by themselves and you may get the odd child whose parent has given them literary analysis but don't think the majority will be doing it.

OneOfTheGrundys Thu 27-Jun-19 14:12:35

Thank you again. I love teaching. I just don’t know what it means anymore.

Am I there to show them how to do things? Or give them activities and let them figure it out for themselves? I am the expert. I know they need my help with this. My lesson was fine. I just don’t know what they consider ok any more.

Thank you all again. Tough day today.

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likeafishneedsabike Thu 27-Jun-19 15:50:45

Ah, so if you’ve marked their papers then you’ve already done the ‘cold’ and are working towards the ‘gold’. In that case they need some direct instruction, surely. The inspector is way off the mark.

Nuffaluff Thu 27-Jun-19 16:04:25

The inspector is behind the times and seemingly not aware of current scientific research into how the brain develops. You are doing the right thing.
He/she should read ‘Why don’t students like school’ by Daniel T Willingham or ‘Seven myths of education’ by Daisy Christodoulou.
This whole airy fairy idea that children can magically learn to do something without being shown is a load of old bollocks. We are the experts and the children learn from us.
Don’t quit.

Nuffaluff Thu 27-Jun-19 16:08:55

Actually OP, I’d recommend those books to you as well. I have 20 years teaching experience and really enjoyed them.
It’s confirmed to me what I’ve always thought - stupid activities that are suggested, like getting the children to research a topic on the internet when they have no idea what they’re looking for.

OneOfTheGrundys Thu 27-Jun-19 16:43:50

Hey, thank you. I love this job. It’s just so galling when you work hard to bring standards up and you know you are doing what the kids need to be told that ‘everyone’s doing the same thing’ in your lesson and ‘you talk too much’. Their books show extended individual work. Once they’ve been shown how to do things! So frustrating.

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noblegiraffe Thu 27-Jun-19 18:01:12

It sounds like the Ofsted Inspector’s comments are just the last straw in a shitty year? And you’ve been doing your best to keep the department above water but management aren’t recognising that, Ofsted aren’t recognising that and you’re feeling unvalued? You know you’re doing a good job in difficult circumstances but the people whose job it is supposed to be to recognise these things are in fact complete dunderheads instead.

You know you’re right.

SabineSchmetterling Thu 27-Jun-19 18:50:16

Having children do a task “cold” in order to prove that you teaching them how to do something led to progress is a ridiculous waste of time. Of course the ones they write after they are taught are better. That doesn’t mean they made any progress. There’s no evidence that they are doing anything at the end of the week that they wouldn’t have been able to do at the start of the week if you’d just taught them the techniques first.

I despair sometimes. I honestly thought we’d moved past this sort of nonsense.

OneOfTheGrundys Thu 27-Jun-19 19:13:37

So did I Sabine . It’s good to talk to other staff. I’m not a HoD and don’t want a TLR as I’ve got too much going on at home. I don’t want to trail my misery into work tomorrow.
It’s been a bad year in my department with 4 staff leaving (sickness and capability) and my HoD finds me a steady old rudder. Which is fine, as I think I am probably, because I’m pretty no frills. But my kids learn, behaviour’s calm and everyone knows where they stand. Job gets done.
I’m going to sneak a chat in with someone tame in management tomorrow noble . Thank you again. You are all great listeners.

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Mammajay Thu 27-Jun-19 19:16:39

Most inspectors do it because they can't teach. You sound like a good teacher.

pinksquash13 Thu 27-Jun-19 19:18:19

Please don't leave! We need you! Ive had some shocking Ofsted inspectors in my time. Ultimately lessons / teaching / learning is subjective! They've watched 20mins but you've given years and no doubt you've made a huge difference and helped so many pupils fulfil their potential! It makes me cross they even give individual feedback. Glass of wine and let the kids cheer you up and remind you why you teach tomorrow. (And do a quick count up of days left till summer)

herculepoirot2 Thu 27-Jun-19 19:22:48

It’s really hard to say without being there whether that’s fair feedback. I agree that the “2007” standard of eliminating teacher talk and letting the farmhouse cat lead the lesson was bollocks. I also think there can be too much teacher talk, depending on the topic and learning aim.

creamofcarnation Thu 27-Jun-19 19:24:55

I never even bothered going for feedback last time. Many inspectors haven't taught in years. I have over 2 decades experience, I don't care what they think

OneOfTheGrundys Thu 27-Jun-19 19:27:31

Yes pink I need to shut that classroom door again and just get teaching again I think. It was the least satisfactory ofsted experience I’ve ever had and that was my fifth. Perhaps the new framework will proved better. Who knows.
Thank you Mamma that is kind.

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OneOfTheGrundys Thu 27-Jun-19 19:35:35

I agree totally hercule . Thing was... it was guided writing for 15-20 minutes. If academically able 11/12 year olds with no additional needs are not expected to participate in a guided, mutual writing experience for that long... I have no idea what we are to expect of them. They were throwing in ideas, I was questioning, we were writing together. Sorry to drip feed!
I know cream my colleague didn’t either. Wish I hadn’t now too!!

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OneOfTheGrundys Thu 27-Jun-19 19:36:50

And the kids were all on task! If they’d not been I could’ve taken that feedback happily!

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Pieceofpurplesky Thu 27-Jun-19 19:37:17

I was told this - no more than ten minutes teacher talk in an hour lesson.
Thing is it was a really low ability set (think not even Grade 1 at GCSE for some of them) and we were annotating a poem.
No idea where the inspector had taught before but imho the kids loved the lesson and can still quote bits of the poem to this day

elephantoverthehill Thu 27-Jun-19 19:47:14

Hindsight is a marvellous thing. I have been in the job for thirty odd years. I wish I had taught exactly the same lesson for every Ofsted inspection, the feedback would have still been from good to needs improvement I know they don't grade anymore. Don't worry about it, it's this whole thing that they have to find something to criticise or they are not ticking the right boxes, rather like 3 stars and a wish. Load of bollocks

shiningstar2 Thu 27-Jun-19 19:55:58

You are a qualified Teacher of English who has presumably a relevant degree and has gone through quite intensive training. You know what you are aiming at the pupils achieving and how to get the desired result. Back in the day the Ofsted inspector observing would usually be an Ex English teacher and knew the challenges of your particular academic discipline so could usually recognise strengths and provide constructive criticism.

Ofsted inspectors now don't necessarily observe lessons in their own discipline. Thus a Maths expert can be observing an English lesson and however good he/she is in her own subject, thinks that because he/she loves the theatre and has seen the play, he/she understands literary analysis and how to guide kids towards this. Sadly teachers who are expert in their field and get amazing results at GCSE and A level are having their professionalism examined by amateurs in the teacher's discipline.

As a Head of Faculty, now retired, I have seen excellent teachers pulled down by inspectors with little knowledge of what they are observing and have seen inadequate teachers praised for a 'fun' lesson with little educational value. I sometimes think this is because the excellent lesson, understandably, is too complex for someone with little knowledge of the subject to suddenly grasp when randomly thrown into a subject which is not of their own discipline.

I have mopped up many tears of dedicated excellent teachers in my time and spent much time persuading them not to abandon the profession.

Piggywaspushed Thu 27-Jun-19 19:58:15

I had a lesson observed with a disaffected low ability group doing Shakespeare. The inspector in discussion with a DH said she picked up on some doodling in books and some off task behaviour. When the DH mentioned the low ability and disaffection of the students and how well I did by them she said that that was irrelevant. He said he had not noticed the off task behaviour. She said a boy was fiddling with a coin!! She should Have thought herself lucky. He was excluded the following week for dealing drugs.

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