Thursday, 17 October 2013

Lesson Obs: The Post-Mortem

Twitter! I salute you! Thank you for all your advice and encouragement leading up to 'Lesson Obs' day.  This time I did not work myself into an anxiety riddled ball of terrified nausea. That in itself is a win as far as I'm concerned.

This is a 'post-mortem' combining the feedback and my own reflections of the lesson.

What went well?

  • The class were INCREDIBLY good, even the most rogueish and gobby did not put a foot out of line so my relationship with the class was praised
  • The lesson was rigorously (that's for you Goveasaurus-Rex) planned with creative ideas and resources
  • Pupils could identify what their target grade for creative writing looks like
  • Most, (but not all) were engaged with the learning.
  • It was obvious that learning did take place
  • Assessment of learning in lesson was evident
  • Pupils could assess their own learning via traffic lights postcard at end of the lesson
  • Subject knowledge is clearly very good
  • Literacy strategies e.g. 'How do you THINK you spell it?' when asked how to spell a word in the lesson
  • Teacher interventions encouraged pupils ot think for themselves rather than merely provide answers
  • Pupils could work indepedently of me
  • The pupil friendly and focused sentence of the SPAG part of Mark Scheme was praised - useful and focused
  • Ideas within lesson were creative e.g. use of the word cloud and sound effects

Even Better if?
  •   I talked less - nerves, nerves, nerves. This had a detrimental effect on the pace of the lesson, thus stopping it from getting a 'Good' overall.
  •  'Missed opportunity' with 'Help My Sentences are Dull' starter - I could have shared a pupil's  'What a good one looks like' - and discussed why it was good and then 'add, challenge, change' using pupils suggestion.  This was a good idea and a fair point - agreed.
  • My Q&A was too brief when discussing the exemplar A, B and C - (I knew this!) and could have developed using higher order questionning better and focusing back onto the mark scheme I provided much more clearly. 
  • Too long spent explaining things which confused rather than aided the pupils - lack of clarity - fair point again, down to nerves mainly.
  • Too many resources or they were not told well enough how they could use them
  • Now this is funny - TOO MUCH MARKING in the exercise books. I've been told to mark less!
Targets are therefore focusing on:
  • Improving pace
  • Making sure clarity of instructions is clear - under pressure that is - so I talk less.
  • And....I can't remember the others. Will add at a later date!
Overall grading; RI with Good features; which is how I assessed myself once the post Lesson Obs adrenaline had faded away.  The assessment and feedback was both useful and fair, therefore I am obviously disappointed at not being all 'Good' but neither am I beating myself up about it.

The class, who contain some of the most tricky characters in year 10 could not have been nicer. I owe them chocolate in tomorrows lesson. Fact.

During the afternoon lessons my rather lovely 6th formers were also very kind and patient as I explained why my brain was a little scrambled. I explained what a lesson observation was about, how we are graded and how much I struggle with them due to nerves and they were understanding and sympathetic! They coped very well with my addled questionning in the lesson. Lovely kids.

One of the funniest moments in their lesson, whilst we were discussing representations of teens and their age group was from a lovely lad, J who is also on the autism spectrum.  He has always been middle aged, even whilst in Year 11, he was a middle aged man in a 16 year old's body.  He said, 'Well Miss, I am anything but a typical teenager.'  We had a chuckle as we all knew he was right!


  1. I too have to curb my enthusiasm for talking. Best thing I've found recently which helps is Pose Pause Pounce Bounce. Good luck with the next one and chin up!

  2. A really thoughtful analysis of the experience and the feedback does sound constructive and useful. You've clearly made the most of the opportunity to learn, Gwen, and this is bound to help you in the future. Well done.