The personal reflection for the session is based upon the Gibbs (1988) reflective cycle.
The session was an assignment workshop. Learners were working individually to achieve the assignment brief by the deadline date . This was the third assignment workshop, with learners tracking their own progress with assignment progress sheets individually and as a group with a SMART board scatter graph.
Within this observation I had a feeling of wanting to prove ability and show what I could achieve as a teacher. The previous observations had not reflected this. There was also a sense pressure release as I had felt more prepared. The room had been set up with hand outs and objectives put in position at the beginning of the morning.
Within this dual observation there was a lot of nervousness and self-imposed stress. This was because of the pressure I had put placed upon myself to achieve and show a high level of ability (Barid MD, 2010).
The use of ICT was also embedded well, having felt previously that other methods trialled such as Padlet did not work as well with level one learners. Within previous sessions ICT had been used without trialling first with learners to test suitability and use. The SMART board provided an opportunity for learner interaction with emerging ICT within the room. Identified by Mikre (2011) this provides and preparation for the use of future technology within the workplace.
Following the observation there was also a sense of relief as the observation had gone well. The lesson structure and elements were present, but required further scrutiny and planning to become more effective.
At the beginning of every session learners are welcomed, greeted and invited into the room. Hramiak & Hudson (2011) identify this as an important part of managing the classroom and asserting a sense of authority.
The managing of the classroom was also shown to have improved. Any general mis-behaviour was dealt with promptly and effectively. Learners, working individually were in the specified seating plan layout. This had been implemented for several weeks and had assisted in managing the behaviour and attention of the learners in sessions. As written by Lever (2011), it had also enabled low level disruption to be minimal.
The pitch of the session was at times too quick, and at others too slow. This was due to the type of activities used and implemented in the session. Due to timings not being accurate and too much content the areas which needed the most time spent on them were rushed (Keller, 2014).
This included the plenary, where due to too many assessment methods being used and not enough time was spent to stretch and challenge. The plenary, as written by Brooks, et al. (2012) should also be a time where I am able to ask questions, develop feedback and obtain more information from learners to conclude and check learning effectively.
The assignment target cards which had been implemented in previous sessions had started to work well with learners. The cards allowed learners to take ownership for their own workloads and incorporating differentiation – by allowing learners to work at their own pace (Hobson, 2015).
The embedding of functional skills could also have been improved. Questions which were asked for the appetizer could have been expanded further to include further literacy and numeracy based questions.
The use of assessment is required for learners, but too many were used within this session. The use of formative assessments within session should be specific and embedded through the session to check that the learning outcomes have been achieved (Ronan, 2015). Confusion of the use of assessment methods and a want to show the range of assessment methods that could be used to the observers was identified as the reasons why this occurred.
The personal observation process I had been through, and the development points raised had assisted with the way in this observation was conducted. The areas for improvement had been worked upon during discussions with mentor and teaching peers. There had also been a variety of observations I had conducted with other tutors, which provided a different point of view and elements of good practice to embed in future session.
I had also taken responsibility for own actions and accepted areas which needed to be improved upon. Previously there was hostility with the feedback provided. This should have been accepted more freely, as it has been used to inspire and develop practice (Daum, 2013).
From this experience there was a lot of positives to take. The observation grade was consistent from previous sessions, which allowed for a step forward to be taken in the grading procedure.
For future practice I will take the confidence gained into the next observation. I will also use the method in which preparation was conducted. This enabled resources to be readily available and tested prior to learners entering the room.
The benefits for learners from this process has seen more structure to lessons they receive, with clearer objectives. Lessons have become in line with the national criteria and levels set and implemented by OfSTED grading standards to develop to an outstanding teaching level (Nutt, 2014).
To continue to improve method in which assignment workshops are conducted, I will speak to colleagues to obtain different opinions and points of view.
Following the conclusion of the dual observation process, the areas identified for improvement will be incorporated into the ILP as SMART targets . The targets are:
- Create lesson plans which include differentiation and all planning aspects incorporated;
- Ensure objectives set are SMART
- To restrict and improve the use of assessment methods used in sessions; and
- Objectives not the agenda list are reviewed at the end of the session.