Observations throughout the course

I wish to share with you all my ‘progress’ through the Cert. Ed. Course/Observations. The initial was by Mentor (who happens to be Head of School), it was pretty dire in so far as I had not built any rapport with the students involved, although I had started to get to know them that ‘rapport’ was not there. It was mainly 2 & 3. I was not aware at the time until it was pointed out after and on reflection I did not address the students by name – none of them, how do you participate in ‘inclusion’ if you do not know the name of your students? Also time management was an issue. These were the developmental points.
Second Mentor observation was conducted by one of the Tutors in Health and Social care – her background was social work. The observation was with her ‘own’ students – she is programme leader for them. They are all female 16 – 18 year olds, mixed ability, Level 3 2nd year students. Strengths were good questioning and explanation of the topic, gave good relevant examples linked to my own workplace, clear explanations when students asked questions and related it to familiar scenarios, Detailed lesson planning, prompted good discussion from students who were all engaged with the subject. Developmental points – direct questions to all individual students so all are challenged from the beginning, check learner progress more effectively, time the activities and let the students know where they should be up to at a certain point in time. Some students not included until later in the session. Give students a range of varied activities eg group research task/case study to make sessions more student led.

Third Mentor observation was Teaching and Learning Coach – progress now with scores mainly 2’s. Again with the Level 3 2nd year care students, all female 16 – 18 year olds, pending University placements.  The topic was not something I am familiar with, nor have the desire to be familiar with – caring for children or younger people.  Strengths were – active promotion of student independence, respect for myself (trainee) was demonstrated by the students and they listened carefully, good attempt by myself at stretching and challenging to encourage students to complete their assignments to merit/distinction level.  Developmental points – forward planning of alternative arrangements for research rather than relying on one method for research which was via mobile phone (some students were sat doing nothing – these are 2nd year students, many of whom are going to University in the summer – my argument was University will not spoon feed them, why should we and at that level the students should have taken it upon themselves to use their initiative and say they could not get internet access on their phones – but I was informed this was not appropriate at some students are happy to sit and do nothing).  Greater support for students when tackling independent work – provide ‘scaffolding which I was not aware of to develop self efficacy and closer assessment of student progress.

Fourth Mentor observation by actual Mentor (Head of School) and this was a ‘workshop’ with no delivery by myself – she stated as long as she observed the students learning something it was not an issue this was a workshop.  Positive comments – all students included – aim demonstrated on whiteboard, also the whereabouts of the students known as some attended Library for research/Open Access, alternatively this was 1 to 1 support with students – these students are classed as ‘mature’ – there has been great issues with this group, initially they had to amalgamate which caused major disruption and unrest, then 1 particular student reported at least 4 peers and tutor (s) to my knowledge.  Head of School has been involved with this group.  Tutor who is programme leader is a vastly experienced Tutor, even she has had issues!!! These students are Level 2.  The fact this one student has reported peers has caused disarray amongst the group and caused ill-feeling amongst peers.  They challenged her within one of the classes whereby both myself and Tutor ‘strongly suggested’ to leave this issue outside of the classroom.  Observation stated it is apparent the students have respect for myself, the use of my own experience and case/studies have been of great assistance along with the less ‘pedagogical’ teaching they have been used to as I have used real life case studies (all identities protected, no names given), quizzes, Youtube video clips, plus the use of ‘props’ or items they may come across in their particular chosen field of health/social care.  The progress has been slow but obvious on reflection.  Areas of my practice which are good have been commented on, plus I have received criticism which I feel to be appropriate and constructive and all relevant points will be a consideration for future teaching opportunities should they arise.


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