Not a Nightmare!

Phew! I had my observation on Monday, and it was definitely not a nightmare. Oh, there were some nightmarish moments, but nothing like my dream. No one walked out, I didn't pull any children's hair, and there was no crowd of teenaged boys jeering my every effort.

I taught an exhaustively planned lesson on nets. Not the fishing kind, but the two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional shapes. Basically, what you get when you open a box out flat. So, we did that. Lots of box opening and folding. My top group folded paper into a calendar dodecahedron with a month on each face. Very cool. Everyone else experimented with cubes. They were all engaged and the pace was really fast.

Following the lesson, my tutor found a quiet room to write "for twenty minutes". After twenty minutes she asked for twenty more minutes. I brought her a cup of tea, and she said she'd need a full hour total. Sheesh! What was she writing about? What had I done that required so much paperwork.

I knew she had my folders to pore over as well as the lesson. I knew these were in a shocking state. There were many things I hadn't even started writing up. With each additional "twenty minutes", I felt the mounting panic. What could she be writing? By the time she was finally ready to see me, I was a bundle of nerves.

She started by reviewing my lesson. She has no comments at this stage, she just recapped everything I'd done. She did mention the one point where I stopped the lesson to assess how the children were learning. She thought that was going to be the end of the entire lesson and was surprised to check her watch and realise we were far from done. At the end of the recap she heaved a sigh and said, "Phew! That was... intense."

I chose to take this as a compliment. My pace was fast, lots of ideas happened, the children tackled a huge project, and all wrapped up with a neat bow in under an hour. To their credit, the children tackled and conquered their projects. They were awesome. Well, most of them. Two boys were really acting up, but on the whole the kids were gorgeous.

As predicted my tutor said my paperwork was abysmal. It was. It still is a bit, to be frank. She flicked through and shook her head, "You're missing this, and this, and haven't even started this...!" She said technically she should record that I wasn't making the required progress, but it would have been churlish since she had no major comments on my teaching. I apologised, thanked her for her pointers and then delicately reminded her that I was a full three weeks behind everyone else as I'd had to find my own placement. She admitted she hadn't remembered that and cut me some slack.

On reflection I have decided I'd rather score high in my teaching than in my paperwork, so I'm happy. I'm really happy, actually. She'll come back in a few weeks to observe again, and I'll have all my paperwork up to date. There's so much to do! Sitting next to me is a stack of three job applications. Two of which need to be returned by Friday. As in they need to be in the post tomorrow. Not so sure that's going to happen! So much to doooooo!


I'm very curious about your paperwork. What is it? I had to write lesson plans and student progress reports. What all do you have to write? Hang in there, it gets better. Maybe. 8) K