All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Friday, 20 May 2005


I've just given a fab lesson to one of my year eight classes. Everything worked. The kids behaved well, they got on with the work; the resource sheets I used were relevant and easy to fill in and the end result was an informative lesson where learning took place. Most of all, I was in full control and only raised my voice once.

As I was being observed by another teacher at the time, you might erroneously conclude that this was a deciding factor in my raising my standard (perish the thought!!!), despite the fact that she gave me a glowing report.

So why then, should a lesson of this calibre (yes, I am showing off!) happen just as I'm about to leave? I've established a good rapport with the students, I'm fully in control of the class and I've got them working. For a teacher, it doesn't get much better than this.

I found the same thing in my last school. Just as I had raised my game and given a higher quality output, I ended my placement. I've spoken to other teachers about this and it seems to be a common problem.

It takes a long time to establish yourself in front of a class. At first, they don't know you or you them; then you need to get control AND start the students producing the work and finally you will end up seeing the fruits of your labour (well, honestly, less fruits, more seedlings). Ideally, you will mark work that demonstrates some sort of understanding of the subjects you've been teaching over a term or so.

I am at the last stage of this cycle right now. I know that when I start in my new school, I'll have to go through the process again. Fortunately though, I'll have more than three months to raise my standard of teaching.

Ah, the challenge!

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