Today I sat at the back of a series of cramped, dark, hot, crumbling classrooms and witnessed five lessons from the ‘centre of excellence’ in that county.  It was not, as promised, very excellent at all.

I think what dawned on me today, perched hour after hour behind rows of students glued to their laptops, is what high standards I held myself to in my last, unqualified classroom, and how much I learned by myself simply from doing the job.


4 thoughts on “Dawned

  1. I’ve just gone through my teacher training after working in education for five years. I’ve had several jobs over the years, but one thing I learned during my course was to always find the positives in a lesson, regardless of whether you believe it to be good or not.

    The most successful trainees were those who always found something good from other practitioners and incorporated it into their own teaching. Others who didn’t have this approach, sadly failed.

    I urge caution!


    1. You have a point Benjamin, thank you for your comment. I suppose I was expecting so much more – almost to be dazzled in a way – and having not been I just felt it quite heavily. Observing lesson is still so difficult for me and I’m looking forward to being taught what to look for; you can really get hung up on things like low-level disruption. In all fairness though, seeing the HOD venomously tell a kid to shut up was a bit… shocking.


      1. Honestly, it is so easy to see low level disruption when you’re observing. Because your only focus is observing the lesson, it’s easier to pick up on minor details.

        When you’re teaching, you’re focused on 15 different things, all crashing through your mind at once. Is that student listening? Am I explaining this well enough? How do I know they understand? Can they see my writing on the board?

        I worked as a TA for four years, so I’m very used to ‘observing’ lessons. My first year was spent bitching about teachers who didn’t spot low level disruption. But once I realised tye bigger picture, it becomes easier to look past it and see that 28 study are listening and two aren’t. That’s pretty good going!

        As for the teaching telling a student to shut up, your professional judgement says it wasn’t appropriate. So I’ll have to agree that it wasn’t necessary!


  2. Thank you so much for your input Benjamin, I’ve been looking forward to really engaging with other teachers on WordPress for so long 🙂

    Lesson observation technique is right up there on my list of PD for this coming term, rightly so methinks. It’s easy to know what you think of your own classroom but looking at others is a bit baffling.

    And yes, that school was a bit unprofessional in general – I very quickly knew it wasn’t the place for me. The teacher in charge of recruiting trainees was great but the department weren’t all that welcoming and there was lots of quite aggressive lingo between staff and students – lots of ‘shut up’s, ‘I’ll kill you if you don’t’s, ‘you’re a …’, etc. Thankfully I then observed two other schools where things were much better and I was like ‘phew, it’s not all bad!’


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