Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Hi,
    I have my first day of classroom observations today. I've been in contact with the science teacher who's said I should be able to work with some small groups too, and that he'd like me to be there for enrichment sessions they do with sixth formers every afternoon.
    This will be my first time in a secondary school since I was a student and I feel quite nervous, especially about working with sixth formers, since my A levels are not that great.

    Just looking for some general advice on what to expect and things you wish you had asked or looked out for when you did your own classroom observations.
    Also what type of things should I be focusing on observing for my personal statement?

    Thanks
    • Community Assistant
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Petulia)
    Hi,
    I have my first day of classroom observations today. I've been in contact with the science teacher who's said I should be able to work with some small groups too, and that he'd like me to be there for enrichment sessions they do with sixth formers every afternoon.
    This will be my first time in a secondary school since I was a student and I feel quite nervous, especially about working with sixth formers, since my A levels are not that great.

    Just looking for some general advice on what to expect and things you wish you had asked or looked out for when you did your own classroom observations.
    Also what type of things should I be focusing on observing for my personal statement?

    Thanks
    Was it today? How did it go?:dance:

    Be relaxed I'd say. If you feel comfortable and at home then the young people will be open, honest and comfortable with you.

    For observing, look at the students. What makes them learn? What keeps them behaved? Look at good practice based on the outcome for the pupil.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Was it today? How did it go?:dance:

    Be relaxed I'd say. If you feel comfortable and at home then the young people will be open, honest and comfortable with you.

    For observing, look at the students. What makes them learn? What keeps them behaved? Look at good practice based on the outcome for the pupil.
    Hi thanks for replying

    I observed Year 11 science first and they were quite relaxed and attentive, but I haven't been in a classroom since I was at school myself, so I forgot how slow paced it is compared to university lectures. They would do 2 slides and then an activity, another slide or two and then an activity again, and the 1 hour lesson was over.
    Year 7 were quite funny to watch, someone else is putting their hand up every 30 seconds with another question, and the lesson hasn't even started properly yet :laugh:

    I think the main problem I had was working out when it's the right time for me to get up and start walking around/interacting as I don't want to get in the teacher's way, so I did this with Year 11 and Year 7 after about 30 minutes, and only because that's when the teachers stepped outside for a few minutes.

    The other slight difficulty I came across was sixth formers, the Year 13 do compulsory debate/enrichment activities once a week pretty much unsupervised so I was the only one in the room with them, and they're all so intelligent and opinionated (and also only 2-3 years younger than me) so it can be difficult to get a word in. I tried to be quite natural with them when giving them suggestions but I don't know how to describe it.... they are very talkative and have lots of ideas but just a bit lazy when it comes to writing stuff down and structuring it, and they're not as open to suggestions/ideas as the younger kids are.

    I'll be seeing them every week for the same types of activities, but overall it seems like this will be a very good way to increase my confidence in the classroom before applying for a PGCE and to learn how to interact with students/ see what's the best approach to use with different year groups.

    Thanks for listening!
    • Community Assistant
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Petulia)
    Hi thanks for replying

    I observed Year 11 science first and they were quite relaxed and attentive, but I haven't been in a classroom since I was at school myself, so I forgot how slow paced it is compared to university lectures. They would do 2 slides and then an activity, another slide or two and then an activity again, and the 1 hour lesson was over.
    Year 7 were quite funny to watch, someone else is putting their hand up every 30 seconds with another question, and the lesson hasn't even started properly yet :laugh:

    I think the main problem I had was working out when it's the right time for me to get up and start walking around/interacting as I don't want to get in the teacher's way, so I did this with Year 11 and Year 7 after about 30 minutes, and only because that's when the teachers stepped outside for a few minutes.

    The other slight difficulty I came across was sixth formers, the Year 13 do compulsory debate/enrichment activities once a week pretty much unsupervised so I was the only one in the room with them, and they're all so intelligent and opinionated (and also only 2-3 years younger than me) so it can be difficult to get a word in. I tried to be quite natural with them when giving them suggestions but I don't know how to describe it.... they are very talkative and have lots of ideas but just a bit lazy when it comes to writing stuff down and structuring it, and they're not as open to suggestions/ideas as the younger kids are.
    I'm good at listening*:hat2:

    You'll find your own way with the walking I'm sure.

    As for the sixth formers, are they just not thinking about how they will apply their ideas to what the task might be?


    *has one ear.:rofl:
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 04MR17)
    I'm good at listening*:hat2:

    You'll find your own way with the walking I'm sure.

    As for the sixth formers, are they just not thinking about how they will apply their ideas to what the task might be?


    *has one ear.:rofl:
    The sixth formers seem to prefer free-styling when it comes to group activities (there were 2 classes doing the same debate, and pretty much all of them were like this). e.g I asked them some questions to prompt them and give them an idea, and they would spend lots of time reiterating it and just mulling over the same point verbally instead of writing it down and moving on to a new point.

    Also each person was supposed to have an allocated piece to say, but when it came to the actual debate it was the same 2 or 3 dominant speakers on both teams doing all the talking and the teachers came in at the end and mentioned it to me as well, that they notice a lot of shy students just hiding in the background. So I'll try to think of a way for them to involve everyone in the group next time, maybe a points system. I definitely took away a lot of stuff to reflect on which might be good for my personal statement

    Sorry about that btw they actually had quite a few hearing impaired students... thankfully I learnt how to finger spell my name from the TSR BSL thread
    • Community Assistant
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Petulia)
    The sixth formers seem to prefer free-styling when it comes to group activities (there were 2 classes doing the same debate, and pretty much all of them were like this). e.g I asked them some questions to prompt them and give them an idea, and they would spend lots of time reiterating it and just mulling over the same point verbally instead of writing it down and moving on to a new point.

    Also each person was supposed to have an allocated piece to say, but when it came to the actual debate it was the same 2 or 3 dominant speakers on both teams doing all the talking and the teachers came in at the end and mentioned it to me as well, that they notice a lot of shy students just hiding in the background. So I'll try to think of a way for them to involve everyone in the group next time, maybe a points system. I definitely took away a lot of stuff to reflect on which might be good for my personal statement

    Sorry about that btw they actually had quite a few hearing impaired students... thankfully I learnt how to finger spell my name from the TSR BSL thread
    :toofunny: it's fine I made the joke.

    I'm glad you found the experience beneficial.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.