Classroom Observation

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Classroom Observation

Postby k8an on Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:06 pm

Hi - I will be applying for a PGCE in a few weeks. Before I apply, I have arranged for a 1 week classroom observation at a local secondary school. Grateful if you could advise what I should be observing, the type of notes I should be making in class and how eventually I should use the observation in my personal statement and interview.
Many thanks!
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Classroom Observation

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Re: Classroom Observation

Postby beech2764 on Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:36 am

Hi

As an NQT and having done A LOT of observation of more experienced teachers in my training I would say to make notes of the following:
(1) structure of lesson; what does the teacher do for intro, main part and how do they conclude it
(2)What teaching styles do they use; do they take a strict/command style approach or a more relaxed/ self teaching approach
(3)How do they manage behaviour; any effective strategies
(4) Look at the kids, do they look like they are enjoying it and learning (you are allowed opinions and even though you are only a trainee, noticing things thats you would or wouldnt do is essential, no teacher is perfect by a long shot and even someone who has been teaching ten years may have got into bad habits)
(5) What assessment is used in the lesson; during my training I got assessment drilled into me, so what methods are they using to determine whether or not the kids have learnt anything, i.e. question and answer, does he/she collect worksheets at end of lesson, do they use a plenary to summarise, can the kids remember what they did at the beginning. i find q and a the quickest and easiest way of assessment, that way if you ask a question and no one knows the answer perhaps it would be a good idea to revisit that topic.

In regards to your personal statement, trying to link it to your observation will be good but try and not make it entirely based on that one observation, as that is only one classroom and your personal statement should be generalised to how you would teach in ANY classroom not just what you have already seen. I would focus mainly on
(1) you as a person, your interests and why the career is attracting you
(2) your skills and character traits, how will you use these in a classroom to get the best out of the kids
(3) now link in everything you think you know and have seen in teaching; different learning styles, inclusion, how you will cater for everyone in your class, behaviour management.
(4) To summarise it add in your own philosophy of your subject, why you think it is essential on the curriculum and how you intend to encourage pupils to become as enthused in the subject as you are.
I am a secondary PE teacher and I am not sure whether you are primary/secondary but its all pretty similar guidelines and OFTSED would expect the same from any teacher no matter what age/subject!

Hope this helps, good luck!!!
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