Fifth observation – mentor post observation 28/04/2015

Reflective post observation write up, based upon Gibb’s reflective cycle (1988).

Description

This observation was the first to use this cohort of level three learners. The session began with only two learners present, with an additional late. This provided opportunities for one to one support, but did restrict the appetizer activity developed for the session.

Feelings

Following the observation there was a sense of hope and to work towards the grade one target. This was through concise clear feedback during. The method of receiving feedback had also developed – to be more open and receptive to ideas to change and improve practice. This had altered through the observation processes as I had become less hostile and accepting that it is not possible to be correct all the time (Williams, 2013). For professionalism it enables me to actually work towards best practice by discussing with and accepting peer feedback and review – a requirement of the Education Training Foundation teaching standards (2014). Learners benefit as they take part within more structured and higher level sessions aimed at motivating and aspiring learning to take place.

Following the observation there was that progress was being made. The grade two was a good high level and validated the previous grade two gained. With the sections identified for progress it also allowed for a realistic target of obtaining a grade one in the last observation.

Evaluation

The lesson objectives adapted from the previous observation still require further development to be SMART. Savage (2015) notes the requirement for clear lesson objectives and outcomes as they form part of effective lesson planning. The objectives within this session could not track and assess differentiation – as they did not include how the objectives would be measured or assessed for achievement.

The plenary will be improved as the progress sheet is developed and made relevant for the cohort group. Brown (2009) identifies that the plenary is equally as important as the main activities of the lesson. This is used to check learning and understanding of the session content. During the observation this element should have been checked with the learner to assess progress and understanding.

Learners within the session set their own targets on post it notes. This is used to allow learners to work to their own pace and ability whilst taking ownership for their work. During the observation it was noted that the individual targets should have been followed up and checked for progress during the session.  The importance of this is that student set targets may not stretch and challenge them for the time available (Leyden, 2014).

Analysis

Without implementing differentiation into lesson planning hindered the session. Tomlinson (2014) identifies that without this element it does not provide an inclusive classroom where learners are able to learn and develop.

The lack of students in the session did hinder the planned delivery and pace. Timings were not applicable as so few students were present. Questioning was conducted but group discussions could not be conducted to encourage or develop further. With this it did show flexibility in the approach of teaching and adaption to the room which is an important trait for any teacher to hold (Benson & Kiegaldie, 2003).

Conclusion

One aspect which could have been changed was the assignment progress sheet. Although implemented within previous sessions learners had not used the sheet to the best of ability or use. This could be due to a lack of clear instruction and guidance – causing confusion or misunderstanding (McQuerry, 2012). In future this may require taking additional time in sessions to explain and check understanding of assessment documents.

Further guidance or information prior to the observation could have been gained from peers to check that the lesson plan and objectives were SMART. This could have provided guidance to create content more applicable and suited to the lesson requirements.

The timings of the observations could have been spaced further apart to so work upon developmental points and improvement areas.

Action plan

Through the observation process additional ILP targets have been created  One of the main targets will be to develop the assignment progress sheet to ensure it is fit for purpose. Through these targets the overall aim will then be to progress the grade two to a grade one in the next observation.

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