Final Tutor observation reflection

I feel this session went was quite successful. Some thought went into the different tasks/activities to present to these students as they are of mixed ability. Also with the students being more “mature”, tasks such as producing posters is not favourable. They would prefer to write assignments than produce posters. The students have been used to pedagogical style of teaching, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary “Pedagogy is the theory of science of teaching”, cited in Petty, G. (2009) Teaching Today, A Practical Guide, fourth edition. Therefore they are not used to participating  in a Quiz, or watching an informative you tube video, therefore they are not used to participating in a quiz, or watching an informative You Tube video, therefore it was extremely difficult to find material/resources that would be appropriate, but it did appear to be appropriate for the students and the feedback was extremely positive. Especially the You Tube video. One student commented that she learns much more effectively if something is interesting and fun. Also differing learning styles, were used, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. According to Coffield, F (2004) learning styles were reviewed. Part of this research looked at how students learn and he identified these were “whole brain” in their approach rather than the old style “type and match”. “Whole brain: there are different ways of thinking and there are different preferences, but we can do all of them. We learn when given a topc best and enjoy learning most, students learn best if they are taught in their preferred learning style, therefore teachers are required to know students preferred style and match the teaching to this. “Coffield, F. (2004) cited in Petty, G. 92009) Teaching Today, A Practical Guide, fourth edition.

The strengths identified were very pleasing. Observing Tutor wrote there were clear aims and objectives set out at the start of the lesson, the video clip was appropriate, the use of effective communication and humour were incorporated, the fact the students questioned 3 or 4 pieces of legislation when the Trainee Tutor had stated 4 but Unit booklet said 3 so the mistake was the Trainee Tutor’s, and research had taken place prior to the lesson as more up to date legislation is now in place.

Developmental points are all relevant and valid. 3 students were late which was not initially challenged although all three did offer an explanation after a few minutes. To include more equality and diversity especially whilst discussing diet as it would be a good opportunity to include E&D. There was also an issue regarding timescale set for research, the students were requested to independently carry out research and some left the classroom without absolute clear definition as to the time to return, or their whereabouts i.e. Open Access or Library. All points have been digested and consideration paid to this  area.

Feedback from learners was positive, they enjoyed the interaction of participating in a quiz, the variety of watching a video clip and general discussion. Storytelling in teaching was also used in order to attempt to link theory to practice, especially in view of the fact these students do not benefit from a “hands-on”placement. With storytelling according to the U.S. Department of Education (1986) state “even students who have low motivational and weak academic skills are more likely to listen, read,write, generally work harder in the context of storytelling. United States department of Education )1986) cited in Children Tell Stories. Teaching and using Storytelling in the Classroom. Hamilton, M and Weiss, M (2005). Richard C. Owen Publisher Inc. New York. Storytelling and the use of “props” will continue to be used as it is found to be the most effective method of teaching for this group. More assertion will be used when setting students research tasks and clearer definition of return time.

Final mentor observation

I felt this session went well. It is difficult to “plan” for a workshop, the lesson plan was not as comprehensive as I would have liked. But I found great difficulty in planning for a workshop. I did write on the whiteboard the aim of the session which was to either for learners to catch up or consolidate all they have learnt within the unit.

In some ways I suppose the observer can identify learning has taken place on a 1-1 basis but it is not as effective as “delivering a session”. I am pleased strengths have been identified, that I was supportive and she identified “learning has taken place”, and the fact I was able to differentiate between learners there were not any developmental points raised.

I feel although it was a difficult lesson to plan, generally I got a lot out of talking to the students on a 1-1 basis as there is very little time to have the opportunity to do this. It allows the students to talk open and honestly about their course, progress, achievements and goals and I feel it strengthens the rapport between students and tutor.

I will endeavour to incorporate more 1-1 sessions in future.

Tutor Observations

Enclosed in this text are Tutor observations throughout the course. I hope they may be of some use to someone.

The first observation I was teaching Level 3 2nd year Health and Social care students. the subject Public Health which is vast. The amount of material it covers is huge, a lot based on Acts and facts so you have to know the subject, conduct your research well prior to teaching. Plus the Lesson Plans have to be detailed and the timescale precise. Strengths were – good start to the class, reiterating health and safety/acceptable standards. Good rapport with students, calm and conversational in approach. Circulating which enabled for direct questioning to students but this does require developing. Good use of whiteboard to record discussion following research into socio-economic factors.
Developmental points – always ask for prompt start to lesson and a student came in 8 minutes late. Aim and objectives should on Lesson Plan should match those on slides. Ensure all students are questioned to avoid bias, requested to use the ‘pose, pause and pounce directed questioning to ensure all learners are included. Check students know what socio-economic is and write on whiteboard. Q & A with students putting answers on whiteboard. Mainly 2/3 for this observation.
Second observation – teaching the same class as first observation – level 3 health and social care – Public Health, what I describe as a ‘dry’ subject, how can I make it enjoyable whilst covering the Poor Laws, Acheson and Black Reports etc…legislation. My philosophy – incorporate humour and relate to our own homes/lifestyle. Strengths – good class start, friendly and welcoming but reminding students of acceptable standards. I voiced the term ‘socio-economic as ‘flogged this to death’ – good approach to student understanding, low key approach to discipline – reprimand with a ‘smile’ works. Worked room well by attending to each individual student. Quickly bought a late-comer up to speed with minimal disruption to rest of class.
Developmental points – maximise slides on screen (my IT skills are not too good at all). Consider ‘terminology’ i.e should we be using ‘lower class’? I tried to explain what a ‘bed Manager’ is at the hospital but not clearly enough for students to grasp the role, ensure all students are listening when tasks are being set. I allowed students to put themselves into two groups but this resulted in one group of four students and another group of eight students – I should have designated who will work together, also I was not assertive when asking for feedback.
1/2/&3 – overall 2
Third observation – subject The Impact of Diet through different life stages. Level 2 ‘mature’ students, there have been ‘issues’ with this group as they have had to amalgamate and it has caused major disruption to learning, several students very opposed to this. Behaviour and inappropriate language can be an issue, plus there are several ‘strong personalities’ within the group. Strengths – good tone of voice, well projected. Willing to negotiate assessment methods as some students expressed a desire to present their work rather than write an essay. Used naturally occurring opportunities to reinforce issues around diet e.g checking E-numbers.
Developmental points – Although the feedback from students was good, ensure all students are given the opportunity to feedback, as already stated there are several ‘strong’ personalities and they can ‘overpower’ peers.
1/2 overall mark 2 for this observation.
Fourth observation – with the same students as last observation, level 2 matures, the ‘issues’ in the group have become worse as one student has reported four of her peers and Tutors alike, Head of School is aware and it was decided I would need a ‘chaperone’ for this lesson as the actual Tutor was away, I was not prepared as a student myself to be on my own with them and also Tutors were in agreement. So there are tensions within this group.
Strengths – good clear start, checking students progress. Good choice of video clip – it was appropriate and something these students are not used to as it is very ‘teacher-led’ (pedagogy). Good range of activities – Quiz, video clip, research and asking students to produce posters. Good conversation throughout the lesson – used humour which lightened the atmosphere. I made a mistake and requested four pieces of legislation when it was three and the students were quick to notice, so I laughed at myself and told them ‘if I had a brain I would be dangerous’. I had found more recent research than was in the Unit booklet.
Developmental points – as always challenge latecomers as there was 3, however they all offered explanations as to why they were late and apologised but not immediately, and more directed questioning required to ensure all students participate, as stated there are several strong personalities within the group.
1/2 overall mark 2 for this observation.

I would like to mention the Seminar we attended at University of Hull. I was dreading the day, the drive there, issues regarding parking and the thought of ‘delivering’ to fellow PGCE/Cert Ed students filled me with impending doom. The drive was fairly smooth, we were escorted to the disabled parking area, this was just outside the building we were in. However automatic doors were not too disabled friendly. I thought the disabled facilities were not brilliant, food and refreshments upstairs – there was a lift though. These are my personal opinions – I thought the first speaker was good, succinct but it was difficult to hear him at the back of the lecture theatre (Dr. Sailoo). However, the wonder that is Trevor Gordon burst into the lecture theatre. He had me in awe from the start. He’s loud, he moves around, he asks awkward question and he covers a controversial subject. I found him truly inspiring, and from talking to my peers the comments were all similar that he was really excellent, he made it interactive, he tackled sensitive issues, he made it ‘fun’ and incorporated humour, he was blunt and direct – straight to the point. Again this is my opinion but I really enjoyed watching him and got a lot out of that session. It was also nice to speak to other students from another University regarding the course. The presentation was not as bad as I thought and peers were very supportive. It was good to share experiences, one student teaches in an inner-city school and many of the children are from less priviledged backgrounds and it was really interesting to hear her teaching strategies and behaviour management in that area. I do have to add the issue regarding the ‘lunch’. As stated refreshments were upstairs, it was a hot day and there was nowhere to fill water bottles up. There certainly was not enough food for all and very little in the way of vegetarian sandwiches, that was poor. I just wanted to mention the Seminar and my own personal thoughts about it.

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.

Post-observation reflections

Hello All,


Wanted to share experiences of post-reflection observations.  The initial assessment was mainly 2/3 – areas for improvement – more resources/activities included within the lesson. Pacing – timings, all seemed a bit rushed rather than pacing the contents of the lesson.  Also it was noted I did not address all students by first name terms, plus there was a marked lack of embedding functional skills.  The previous 2 which have been in quick succession have been much more positive.  Good use of resources, different activities, also the freedom for the students to become more autonomous as I like them to conduct their own research and give them the freedom to access resources outside of the classroom environment but not ‘checking’ on them to ensure they are where they say they are going to be so displaying trust in the students.  Also relating the theory to practice – giving them my own experiences as a nurse and how the reality of ‘practise’ is!!! I endeavour to improve the delivery and ensure the students are engaging and enjoying the lesson, oh and the fact they may learn something as a result.