As I mentioned in my last blog post as I jetted off to Dubai for my Easter Break, I had had two lesson observations in that one week. Besides being relieved to go on holiday I was elated that both observations, and a number of other things that week, went so well. I didn’t find out until I got back from my holiday that I’d been given an outstanding for my second observation that week, but I was thrilled to bits that that was the case. Despite being an obvious hypocrite as I’ve previously blogged on the ills of lesson observations, you can’t deny that it is a good feeling to receive praise when you’ve put a lot of effort in.
I was so chuffed that I decided to share the highlights of my feedback here:
Overall feedback and comments
Carol this was an outstanding and truly inspired English class, very well done.
It was very well planned, using the appropriate documentation.
The amount of time that you have spent on preparing the class and physical room and resources was considerable but commendable. These students will remember this session and what they have learnt not just for the exam but for the rest of their lives.
Your natural, enthusiastic delivery style and down-to-earth personality, in addition to how you have become more relaxed in class, helped to engage and motivate the students from the start and throughout.
The session was very well managed and all of the students were engaged and thinking outside of the box.
• Logically planned course and session.
• Ability to pitch the subject at the appropriate level for the group’s abilities with opportunities for stretch and challenge taken.
– Ability to take the students outside of their comfort zones.
• Natural and Confident ‘stance’ in class.
• Professional, no nonsense approach.
• Energy, enthusiasm and passion for the subject.
• Appropriate pace of delivery.
• Giving the student’s time to reflect.
• Giving a range of ideas to help focus on content and procedure of the exam.
Preparing and planning for teaching
Carol it is evident from your planning documents that you have spent a considerable amount of time developing this course so that it caters for the learning needs of your students and to ensure that it is interactive as possible.
Your SoW and lesson plan is detailed with clear and attainable outcomes that are linked to the assessment requirements and there are clear links to previous learning. A detailed differentiation planner (see my previous blog post for a copy of that!) demonstrates that you have reflected in depth on your students and their individual learning needs.
You planned to keep the students engaged, and out of their comfort zones, using a role play of Carol’s Revision Café and this worked perfectly.
Outcomes were shared using the whiteboard and a `specials board’ was used to generate ideas and actions for the exam.
Teaching/learning strategies and resources
Carol you have an enthusiastic and inspirational delivery style and a confident stance in class.
This was an inspired session, where the classroom had been set up as Carol’s Revision Cafe, where you acted out the role of owner/waitress and each student had their own reservation at a particular table, aiding behaviour management.
Word puzzle cards were used as appetizers or the ` crisp starters’ (pardon the pun).
Each student also had their own menu with timings on, to choose one dish from each topic and then move onto next course. You facilitated this by helping them with their ‘order’, pointing them to the appropriate stars as per your pre planned differentiation planner.
All of the activities and your advice was focused at building their self–belief: that you will attain that C grade in the exam.
Differentiation was embedded throughout, using Carol’s differentiation planner.
Each menu choice had an indication of the number of stars of how high a grade it will get in the exam.
Exam tips were given throughout the session, the students knew what will give them marks and what will not.
Your instructions for the activities were clear and all of the students were engaged throughout.
Functional Skills were embedded throughout and dictionaries were provided to help to define misunderstood words.
You have the ability to create and maintain a conducive, enjoyable learning environment, where the students were happy, learning from you and learning from each other.
Your approach to classroom management was appropriate for this group, you were in control of this session and the students were kept on task.
The late comer was welcomed which aids inclusion and you challenged them in a non–confrontational manner.
Praise was used as appropriate throughout the session.
Outstanding subject knowledge was demonstrated throughout and you have a talent to be able to put difficult phrases and words into an understandable context that the students understand.
Assessment and progression
Formative assessment of all of the class continued throughout the session.
After each topic you consolidated learning through discussion and open questions and linked the learning back to the outcomes and criteria.
You assessed the group in a positive and encouraging manner throughout.
You used direct and open questions for formative assessment throughout the session.
Self–assessment was encouraged using the customer experience survey.
Peer assessment was also encouraged by placing the posters on the wall for all of class to see and compare to their own.
Classroom Management and Learner Support
Carol you clearly care about your students and their progress.
Excellent oral communication skills were demonstrated.
You have the ability to create and maintain an enjoyable, engaging, conducive and professionally relevant learning environment, where the students were keen to learn and will remember for many years to come.