Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Tales from New Teachers

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Tales from New Teachers

Article excerpt

when teaching worlds collide

The problem

It was observation time again. As a newly qualified teacher, you get observed so often (or at least I seem to) that it can feel a bit lonely when you are the only adult in the room.

This time, though, I was particularly nervous. The observer was a colleague whose approach to teaching was very different to mine. He was extremely traditional and my habit of trying new things had prompted a raised eyebrow from his corner of the staffroom more than once. I expected the worst.

The options

I discussed the issue with some fellow new teachers and their advice was mixed. One said I just had to lump it and that style clashes were a part of the job - if I got a bad assessment, then so be it. Alternatively, I could plan the type of lesson the observer wanted to see.

Another colleague said that was rubbish. Instead, I should ensure all the observation feedback was supported by evidence and scrutinised for any hint of bias. "Don't let the miserable bugger get away with it," she said, slightly more riled up than I was.

I also spoke to my mentor about observations and subtly asked what would happen if someone simply had a different style to you. …

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