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Lesson Observations on Supply

10/03/15

It's not a regular event, however you may find yourself being observed while working as a daily supply teacher. Hannah offers her best tips of how to handle this and what to expect. 

Many of us choose to do supply to get away from observations, and yet sometimes they still happen! Sometimes this can be for good reasons, (namely, they want to keep you for longer), sometimes schools are looking for reasons to tell you they want something else (there are nicer ways to be told!) and sometimes it’s just because they have to do a certain number of observations, and it’s your lucky day.

If the observation is for a longer position, think about whether you would want to work there for the long-term. In this instance, it’s important to plan your lesson carefully, try to get a good balance of motivating the children and making progress that the observers can see. I plan my lessons out so that I know what I should be doing every 5 minutes, which keeps me focussed and on track, and I know the children have enough time to do their activity.

If the school is trying to tell you that they want someone else, put it down to it being a quirk of the management and move on. There are plenty of schools around and plenty of supply teachers, and if they don’t take a liking to you, don’t let it knock your confidence. Try to move on to the next school, and hope they are much nicer.

It is a requirement of some schools to do enough observations, and management like to get lots of practice in. If you are on the receiving end of such practice, remind yourself that it is more for them than you. Do your normal lessons but try to have in your mind where your lessons are going. Keep the activity and the objective clear and your lesson will make much more sense.

Some people enjoy observations and they enjoy showing what they can do and the ideas they have had. I am more sensitive to criticism and worry about what I could have done better. I still enjoy the lack of observations from doing supply, but if one pops up I don’t worry about it.

Have you been observed recently? Do you have any tips to offer other teachers? Contact Megan for more information on how you could share your ideas.

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