Observation 1: 19th November 2014. Pre observation analysis and post observation critical reflection

Pre-observation analysis

Give some background information on the session. Also indicate particular points on which you would like feedback; this observation should link to the focus for specific Module 1 – 4 (the Module you are currently undertaking). Please also comment on the progress you have made with reference to feedback offered after your last University or mentor observation.

The session is a Level 1 Business Administration lesson, based upon Unit 16 – working in business administration. Learners have conducted two other sessions within this unit. The previous being an interview with a member of the administrative team to gain further information of the role of an administrator.

This is the first observation and therefore no other feedback has been received.

Particular feedback points would be applicable to Module 1 – section B, critical reflection.

Discuss how you will assess the learning taking place during this session, and how feedback will be given to learners:

SMART objectives identified at the beginning of the session and revisited at the end of the session. Learners will complete post it note feedback at the end of the session to assess and gain feedback at to what specific areas they have learnt during this particular session.

Learners will recap from the previous lesson to assess learning which had taken place and to focus learners for this session content.

Learners will conduct an assessment of their current ability to listen to tasks and instructions on a whiteboard. This will be re-assessed at the end of the session to assess progression and learning.

Learners will work in pairs to conduct specific tasks. Learning will be assessed by the written details they provide and the information they provide to peers within the group. Feedback will also be provided by interacting with the students as they feedback.  Learns will also conduct peer feedback during role play activities.

Learners will be provided with individual coaching and feedback during the session to promote activities they are completing during the session.

Discuss how you will support differentiated learning during the session, and how you will promote an inclusive learning environment:

Additional higher level role play activities will be made available to learners.

Crosswords will be issued to learners who have completed the role play tasks prior to other learners within the group.

Learners who have previous struggled more or have been more disruptive will be questioned, assessed and guided additionally in conjunction with other learner requirements.

Identify the literacy and numeracy issues that will arise during the session and discuss how you will address them:

Learners will complete an assessment on a scatter graph on the whiteboard to assess their current ability out of 10, on how well they listen and follow instructions. This will be re-assessed at the end, promoting numeracy.

Learners will write down as many details from the previous session to recap what was learnt and to promote literacy skills and development.

Learners will have to write down answers to the initial quiz appetiser session and share with peers.

Learners will be asked to read out loud from the board where instructions are written to promote literacy and peer learning/development.

Additionally crosswords may be issued to learners to complete – embedding literacy.

Post observation critical analysis 

Gibbs reflective cycle

Gibbs reflective cycle, (1998) (University of Kent, 2012)

Observation one: 19th November 2014

Description

An observation was conducted by Maria Bower (course tutor) during a Level 1 Business Administration course. In order to conduct a critical observation of this process, I will focus the experience based upon Gibb’s reflective cycle. The use of Gibb’s model for this personal reflection was used as this model includes a feelings section. This was deemed important as it would allow for me to add more personal influence to the reflective process.

As a student teacher I am based at a college, providing a place of study for students aged 16 and above. Within this campus I am based within the Business Studies department, teaching to a broad range of learners. These students are at levels 1 to 3. As part of the process of completing the course I will be conducting critical reflections on times throughout my teaching experiences. This reflection is based upon the observation conducted on Wednesday 19th November 2014

Observations are not only conducted by student teachers, but also as part of the college’s guideline and procedures. As written by Clayton & Ash (2005) “Reflection on their teaching both deepens faculty’s understanding of their roles as educators and allows them to model those abilities and perspectives they want their students to develop” (p.161)

Feelings

At the time of the experience I felt embarrassed, and that I had not conducted and shown myself to the full potential. With this being the first formal observation I believe that there were some nerves involved, and particularly as this was the first experience. The writing of Armitage, et al.,(2007) identifies how observations can be seen as a threatening experience to an individual.

During previous teaching experiences I believed that the methods and processes that I had implemented were of the desired standard. Throughout the observation I actually believed that the actual session was being conducted to a very high standard.  I also felt that I had let down the teaching staff and mentor – as I had not met the grade (2) which I had hoped to achieve.

At the end of the observation I was angry and overall disappointed with myself.
Evaluation

In reflection some of my initial responses were unprofessionally. The method in which I reacted to the comments and feedback was not to the standards I uphold for myself.

Having a formal graded observation had caused me to stressed and anxious, in particular compared to the informal observations conducted by mentor (Allen, 2014). The first experience was something which I can build upon and learn to improve with practice and development.
Analysis

What did not help was my planning. I turned up later than required for the observation and therefore could not set up the classroom as required. The first few minutes of the observation were rushed and not what I intended. I was not able to follow my intended plan – to ensure all objectives were written on the board for learners to view. It is important to consider and reflect on this as effective use of time management is an essential part of any teacher’s role (Crane, 2013).

During the observation there was some low level disruptions which were not dealt with affectively by myself. This type of disruption can have impacts upon the learning, with the implications being that overall this can affect the success of the learner throughout life (Sellgren, 2014).

Conclusion

The observation as a useful tool for identifying areas for improvement within my practice. This first observation has made me realise the importance of observations and as written by Pollard, et al., (2006) how reflection is important to professional development for teaching professionals. The planning and delivery of the session could have been better achieved by planning more effectively.

The management of the classroom also requires improvement. This is an area which when improved will ultimately allow me to control the classroom and the activities conducted to a higher standard. This will ultimately provide an outstanding level of teaching and learning to students. The need for the classroom organisation is identified by Marzano & Marzano (2003) who believe that classroom management is the greatest variable upon pupil achievement.

The lesson activities were also good in content, but not delivered to be affective. As written by Kizlik (2011) there is a need for student activities to be good quality and also provide an effective method of learning to students. The communication and explanation of the tasks was not clear and concise to the learners.

Action plan

In order to implement this actions to be taken from the observation I have updated my personal Independent Learning Plan with key elements based upon the observation:

  • Room management and set up to be managed better;
  • Receive feedback without hostility; and
  • Develop classroom discipline skills and classroom behavioural management techniques.

An additional action will be to implement a seating plan for the level 1 learners. The ability to change the seating layout as written by Beadle (2011) is as an effective tool for behavioural change manage management.

I will ensure that I am better prepared for the next observation and start to implement the areas for improvement. The experience has made me aware that I need to be more open, prepared and ready for formal observations to be conducted. I will achieve this by speaking to my mentor and tutors, and discussing in particular classroom management. I will also ensure that during future sessions I will implement the changes effectively.

References

Allen, M., 2014. Graded lesson observations are a major cause of stress for FE teachers. [Online]
Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jun/11/graded-lesson-observations-stress-teachers-further-education
[Accessed 1 November 2014].

Armitage, A. et al., 2007. Teaching and training in post-compulsory education. 3rd ed. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill.

Beadle, P., 2011. The importance of a good seating plan. [Online]
Available at: http://newteachers.tes.co.uk/news/importance-good-seating-plan/45960
[Accessed 5 December 2014].

Crane, H., 2013. Top 10 resources to help teachers manage their time. [Online]
Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/oct/12/time-management-worklife-balance-teachers
[Accessed 1 November 2014].

Kizlik, D. B., 2011. Five Common Mistakes in Writing Lesson Plans (and how to avoid them ). [Online]
Available at: http://www.educationoasis.com/instruction/bt/five_common_mistakes.htm
[Accessed 25 November 2014].

Marzano, R. & Marzano, J., 2003. The key to classroom management. Building classroom management, 61(1), pp. 6-13.

Pollard, A. et al., 2006. Reflective teaching. 2nd ed. Wiltshire: Continuum.

Sellgren, K., 2014. Low-level classroom disruption hits learning, Ofsted warns. [Online]
Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29342539
[Accessed 2 November 2014].

University of Kent, 2012. Reflective learning. [Online]
Available at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/learning/PDP-and-employability/pdp/reflective.html
[Accessed 12 November 2014].

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