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

Sunday, 10 September 2006

Advice Required

Tense Teacher and Pepperpot (or anyone else for that matter), I need your advice here.

On Friday, I started teaching my new Year 13 class of four. During the course of the lesson, I accidentally (and stupidly) told them that I had not yet taught the unit we’re going through over the year, which is Project Management.

Understandably, this doesn’t exactly give them a great deal of confidence in my teaching. I tried to make up for it by also revealing that, having taken a Business Studies degree, I am pretty clued up about the subject.

What would you now do in my position (although you probably wouldn’t have made the same dumb-assed mistake)?


Larrythelamb said...

if it were me, I would now resign and become an IFA.

other than that, next lesson, take your sword from its scabbard and do the honourable think, slay all the little bastards


Pepperpot said...

Hum... bad luck! Don't fret too much about it, remember that in school there's always another crisis on the way tomorrow to distract you from all the mistakes of today. My advice (seeing as you asked for it) is...

1) Resist the temptation to say anything else to them on this matter - they are not that interested in you or their studies and will probably forget all about what you said, provided your lessons are OK.
2) I'm assuming from my brief trawl of the specs online that you are teaching Applied ICT A-level. If it does come up again, explain that as the spec is so new, they would have been very lucky to have had someone with specific previous experience - most people haven't taught it before!
3) The same brief trawl of the net has yielded some unsettling postings on very poor results and moderation for Applied ICT this year. This is absolutely par for the course with ICT. I urge you to push your school to send at least one member of your department to every INSET opportunity the board offers you. You can use the discussion on
as ammunition.
5) It goes without saying that you should not mention the previous point to your students!
6) Although the module looks terrifying, it's basically a project. The project has been a staple of ICT teaching for years and years in ICT teaching and there are oodles of resources knocking about. With a class of four, and with the emphasis on a group project (I assume I'm reading the right spec here) you will have no messing about with 'I don't want to work with him/her!' They all have to work together. The only problem you have at the start is to pick the right project, and for that I would seek advice immediately. If your board has sent you the name of a coursework advisor, get on to them. My experience of post-16 ICT projects has always been to use MS Access, so if that's what you're being advised, let me know and I will tell you some good (and not so good) ideas. If you pick the right project, the rest will be so much easier.

There, you're worrying about that now, aren't you. See what I mean?

All the best

The Teacher said...

Thank you very much for this PP. I really appreciate your kind assistance in finding out this info.

Yes, I am teaching the Applied ICT A Level, using the Edexcel syllabus.

I've actually gone to the site( am working according to their SOW (for unit 8 - Project Management), having gone as far as buying the book they've based it on - which is in fact their own publication.

I think I did manage to wing it somewhat in that I told them that I was the only one in the department who had a relevant degree (to that particular unit).

I think your advice about resisting the temptation to try and justify my comments, is very wise!

I am probably worrying about this needlessly and no doubt, they have moved on...but hey, isn't that what teaching is all about?!

I would also add that my lack of classroom, or resources for that matter, doesn't exactly help in the process of settling myself into the new year.

Tense Teacher said...

That may not be a mistake at all; when I was given a Speech and Drama class to teach (and I had zero experience in either subject), I told my small class the same thing, explaining that we would be learning together. I also told them that I welcomed their input regarding the class, but let them know that when it came down to it, I was essentially a dictator and may or may not take their suggestions. My kids responded very well, and we had a fun, and still educational, year.

The key is to be prepared every single day, so that they don't have a chance to doubt your qualifications or classroom management techniques. Don't dwell on it; I doubt they are.

HoosierGirl5 said...

Wow, I agree with Tense Teacher. The key is to be on top of your game every single day and forge ahead.
Since I teach students with learning disabilities, they are reluctant learners, so my task is different than yours, and a lot less academic.
Good luck.

The Teacher said...

Thank you so much for all your advice which has really helped to reassure me.

The point that many of you make is that the kids aren't dwelling on it, so why should I be?

When I think about it, last year, I spent so much time worrying about trivialities and now, I really can't remember what they were!

I've got to ensure that I am on top of the game at all times and things will be fine.

It is also wonderful to be part of such a caring and sharing profession.

Thank you all.