Becoming a Teacher: Issues in Secondary Teaching

By Justin Dillon; Meg Maguire | Go to book overview

8 Reflection, inspection
and accountability

Justin Dillon


Introduction

From now until you decide that it is time to leave teaching, you are going to be watched by a lot of people: pupils, mentors, tutors and inspectors. They will be, in all senses of the word, inspecting you — watching to see what you do, noticing if you can see what they are up to, assessing if you are teaching well and judging what you are wearing. There's something about being watched that can be uncomfortable and, sometimes, unnerving. One of the best pieces of advice that I was given as a PGCE student was 'never wear clothes where the sweat shows'. However, this chapter is not just about being watched, it is also about watching yourself, reflecting during and after teaching, with an aim to be more effective for all your pupils. Reflection is important because, not only are you accountable to others, you are accountable to yourself — to maintain your own standards and to keep faith with your own values. However, if day-to-day reflection is the norm for today's professional teacher, at least in terms of frequency, inspection is at the other end of the spectrum. Inspection, at its best, can offer a rare opportunity for independent insights into your teaching abilities and can catalyse your own reflections. This chapter draws together research into teacher development and related research into school inspection, and, in particular, the impact of the Office for Standards in Education, commonly referred to as Ofsted.

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