The personal reflection for the session is based upon the Gibbs (1988) reflective cycle.
The observation was of the level one learners during an introductory session to the new unit to be delivered. The session covered learning outcome one of the unit (appendix). Learners were conducting group work discussions and research. Members of each group had been identified and allocated based upon diagnostic results and behavioural attributes.
The session was delivered to a high standard which began with preparation and planning. This allowed for a more relaxed feel to the session as all aspects had been practices and checked the previous day.
Following the completion of the observation there was huge sense of pride as the culmination of hard work and progress was shown within the session. This was also mixed with relief as it was the final tutor observation.
From the position of the tutor, I was also proud of the learners for showing their ability and potential whilst the observer was in the room.
Overall all elements of the observation worked well. The appetizer activity allowed for the embedding of numeracy, literacy and group work whilst also incorporating a recap of the previous session.
The session also showed flexibility of the subject topic to be delivered. The objectives which were set were achieved and identified through the review of the session. Additional aspects which were included in the lesson plan were not conducted – due to time restrictions. The ability to be able to change to the situations within the classroom is a key aspect to be becoming a successful teacher (Kelly, 2015).
The layout of the room was an area which worked well – as learners were able to conduct group tasks with space and the equipment required. This was achieved through the use of pre-planning of group sizes and the layout of the tables within the room. This enabled groups of learners to be split across the room to limit and prevent any potential confrontation occurring (Eyster & Martin, 2010).
Planning also worked well, and timing added to each objective task was clear and concise. The timings were good and allowed for various tasks to be used to keep learners motivated, whilst providing praise and positive attention (Saxby, 2015).
Questioning which has also improved through the observation and mentor process also worked well with this session. Learners were never provided answers – but provided different questions or versions to extract the answer from them. This also provided opportunities for peer discussion and sharing of ideas whilst enabling ownership for own learning (Haynes, 2012).
The plenary at the end of the session was also timed well and enabled additional questioning to take place. The focus for this has been the use of learning ladder style cards, named Blooming Gavin. This is the incorporation of Blooms taxonomy questions with a humours photograph.
This has been used within sessions over a duration of time with this group. As written by Butt (2008) with the importance of which to check understanding and the completion of the session objectives.
The targets and areas for improvement identified during previous observations had been worked upon and embedded into the session. The process of observations has improved the way in which I deliver content. The grades provided have gradually improved since the initial observation, through the implementation of the feedback points provided.
The layout of the lesson also provided structure for learners to see the format and purpose of the lesson with objectives pre-written and viewable throughout the session (Beadle, 2007). Objectives were revisited and marked off to show development and progress made.
Improving note taking and assessment methods through the use of adapted class specific pre-printed sheets has also worked well with learners. This ensures learners make the relevant notes and provides an assessment method through which understanding can be checked (Morrison, 2010).
This cohort group have developed and grown through the PGCE course. The respect has grown and developed within the group (appendix) this has created a welcoming friendly environment. This can be encouraged through learners looking forward to and have high expectations of the lesson that will be delivered (Linsin, 2011).
The learning style of the group has grown within a behaviourist approach, where learners approach has been a “blank slate”. The style and learning method has been directed from influences of the tutor and the learning environment – through class contracts and the standards implemented (McLeod, 2013).
The learning environment has become an enjoyable area (appendix) where learners feel free to ask questions and stretch and develop through the tasks set. This has helped learners to feel comfortable and develop their knowledge and skills through
The set up and preparation is a factor which will be continued. The time spent on checking the room and the facilities available allowed for no technical or functional errors to occur.
To ensure the same level of outcomes in future sessions there will be a requirement to embed the assessment tracking methods used are of the same standard. The structure of the future lessons will also include objectives which incorporate differentiation for the variety of learners within the session.
Overall what can be taken from this observation is a self-belief in the teaching ability and style which I conduct, as a grade one was achieved. This will provide motivation, direction and improve personal performance heading into the first full year of practice (Belschak & Den Hartog, 2008).
To be prepared and focused for future sessions there are specific targets to be implemented, in particular for the first year of my own practice. For the ILP (appendix X), target areas for improvement have been identified as:
- Develop questioning to stretch higher level learners;
- Develop the use of constructive feedback;
- Lesson plans show further stretching and progression for high level learners; and
- Develop learner feedback to strengthen employability skills.
To enhance and improve upon these development points, discussions and meetings will be held with mentor and tutors. These targets will be taken into the first year of teaching, where all the information and guidance provided will be required to adjust to responsibilities and requirements of the position (Ripp, 2014).