Airfairy
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If any current/past students could tell me about this, I'd be grateful!

Anyway, I think the observation aspect is what I'm most worried about. I have been sent me PGCE handbook today, and I've only just started thinking about observations and things, and the idea of someone sat in the room assessing every single thing I'm doing, terrifies me! I can imagine being poor because of nerves, and you don't know how the pupils will be either.

Can anyone tell me their experiences? Are nerves high? Are they as bad as I'm thinking of in my head?

Also, how many generally do you have? It doesn't say in my handbook. And I take it, if you're not being observed, you have the class on your own - there's no-one watching?
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BlankTen
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(Original post by Airfairy)
If any current/past students could tell me about this, I'd be grateful!

Anyway, I think the observation aspect is what I'm most worried about. I have been sent me PGCE handbook today, and I've only just started thinking about observations and things, and the idea of someone sat in the room assessing every single thing I'm doing, terrifies me! I can imagine being poor because of nerves, and you don't know how the pupils will be either.

Can anyone tell me their experiences? Are nerves high? Are they as bad as I'm thinking of in my head?

Also, how many generally do you have? It doesn't say in my handbook. And I take it, if you're not being observed, you have the class on your own - there's no-one watching?
I've no experience of the PGCE yet, but I'd advise just to try and forget there's another adult in the room. If the kids play up/mess around, you'll be judged on how you handle the situation, not marked down as a result of bad behaviour.

Even when you're not being observed, I'd imagine there's a high possibility that there will still be adults in the room, whether this is the original classroom teacher, or a teaching assistant/learning support assistant.
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Elmand
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I've not started my PGCE yet, however I have delivered several observed lessons as part of interviews. Like you I was really nervous of having someone assessing my teaching, but honestly once I started teaching I was so focused on the pupils and the lesson itself that I completely forgot I was being observed. At the end of the day, your attention should be on the class itself - and that's what the observer wants to see also.
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bellylaugh
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(Original post by Airfairy)
If any current/past students could tell me about this, I'd be grateful!

Anyway, I think the observation aspect is what I'm most worried about. I have been sent me PGCE handbook today, and I've only just started thinking about observations and things, and the idea of someone sat in the room assessing every single thing I'm doing, terrifies me! I can imagine being poor because of nerves, and you don't know how the pupils will be either.

Can anyone tell me their experiences? Are nerves high? Are they as bad as I'm thinking of in my head?

Also, how many generally do you have? It doesn't say in my handbook. And I take it, if you're not being observed, you have the class on your own - there's no-one watching?
I think you'll have a few formal observations over the course of the PGCE but in addition to those, you'll probably be informally observed all the time. Especially in the early days when you'll possibly just be teaching starter/plenaries or doing group work. Highly unlikely that you'll have the class to yourself so to speak. As someone else has pointed out, there may also be LSAs working with individual children in your class too.
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Shelly_x
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(Original post by Airfairy)
If any current/past students could tell me about this, I'd be grateful!

Anyway, I think the observation aspect is what I'm most worried about. I have been sent me PGCE handbook today, and I've only just started thinking about observations and things, and the idea of someone sat in the room assessing every single thing I'm doing, terrifies me! I can imagine being poor because of nerves, and you don't know how the pupils will be either.

Can anyone tell me their experiences? Are nerves high? Are they as bad as I'm thinking of in my head?

Also, how many generally do you have? It doesn't say in my handbook. And I take it, if you're not being observed, you have the class on your own - there's no-one watching?
We were observed formally twice a week, with a written observation done for our evidence folder. There will likely be someone in the class with you the majority of the time, but they won't be just watching they should also be helping the pupils.
Nerves are high but you also get engrossed in the teaching and the pupils and forget you're being observed.
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myrtille
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Most schools officially say there should be someone else in the room with you at all times - I think it's something to do with insurance.

This means if the teacher you're working with is off sick, you will usually have a cover supervisor/supply teacher sitting in the back of the room.

On my first placement, my mentor (or whichever teacher I was taking the class from) always sat in. They would normally get on with their own marking or whatever, but give me some informal verbal feedback when we had chance to talk. Then there were formal observations at least once per week.

On my 2nd placement, there was a landing/workroom area just outside the classrooms I taught in, so the teachers tended to stay there (in earshot, but out of my way!) except for observations, which I much preferred.

Different course providers will run the formal observations differently - some have gradings but mine just had a sheet for comments and then you linked the comments to each teacher standard to provide evidence for meeting them.
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Leaa31
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I start my PGCE in September and this did concern me, however after gruelling interviews and taking a lesson in front of 4 other adults as part of an interview I'm not bothered anymore! I completely focused on the pupils and the adults just helped the children with the tasks I set. They don't sit and stare at you at all. I also worked a morning in a year 5 class in which a student teacher was taking a maths lesson, there was the class teacher, a TA and myself. We all just helped with the task she set, it was very relaxed. It will probably be strange at first but they are only human at the end of the day and will have been through the same thing as us! Just zone out and concentrate on the lesson and the pupils and you'll be fine.
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Steveluis10
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I got observed once a week officially on mine - that meant the teacher in the room (mostly my mentor at both placements) would be watching your every move, filling out an observation form and grading you against standards you have chosen to focus on (e.g behaviour) - at the end of the lesson they would give me a grade for the focused on standard (e.g 2b) and a grade for the lesson overall (taking into account the holistic approach to teaching and learning).

Every other lesson I had there was always a teacher in the room but very often they'd be marking or getting on with something - quite a lot of the time they would admit to me at the end of the lesson they weren't really paying attention but everything sounded ok! As others have said, legally they are required to either sit in the room or be next door in case anything serious happens. I was left alone only probably 3 times during the year - the teacher notified me they wouldn't be in the lesson but this was nearer the end of the PGCE and I think not only had I gained the teacher's trust by that point but they told me it's always good to have a few on your own lessons towards the end as a nice transition into the NQT year.

In terms of being nervous - I'm not going to lie, I really suffered from nerves at the beginning during officially observed lessons but you get more used to it and by the end you actually want to be observed because you want that important feedback of where you need to improve. I was still more nervous for official observations because I knew I was being scrutinised but once you're in to the lesson you almost forget someone is watching if it's going well!

I think I'm going to enjoy not being observed all the time on my NQT year but at the same time I'm worried I won't know if what I'm doing is good teaching because I'm not experienced.
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