School X is a co-educational foundation high school situated in West Yorkshire. It currently caters for 895, 11 to 16 year old pupils 19% of which are from minority ethnic background (predominantly of Pakistani heritage); 37% of which School X’s pupils are entitled to support through Pupil Premium. The school’s quantity of pupils who do not have disabilities, special educational needs and/or learning difficulties exceed the national average. School X’s most recent Ofsted report judged them as “A good school” and I do believe the pupils attitude to learning reflects on this positive judgement.
This class of 25 pupils in which I have prepared the following 3 consecutive lessons are for are a second set Year 8 Key Stage 3 English class. They are in set 2 based on their SATs results from year 6. An enthusiastic class with 32% being pupil premium students in addition to one EAL pupil and two especially low attaining SEN status pupils who, even though they were placed in set two because of their high SAT’s level, are especially weak in English but remain in this set due to the behavioral problems they faced when placed in lower sets. These two SEN have an assistant teacher sat with them intermittently. The subject which I will be teaching is Twelfth Night, Or As you Like It, By William Shakespeare, as chosen from the AQA exam board. The head of English had decided this would be the most accessible play for year 8’s and we as a faculty also deemed it as an appropriate introduction to Shakespeare. I will be focusing on the analysis of character for all three lessons. I had recently started this subject as a whole, already having covered context and as well as the play itself. The pupils are therefore already familiar with the text and Shakespearian context. The reason I have picked the objective of character analysis for these lessons is because it is critical in developing their analysis techniques and I feel it is the most important and interesting aspect of any literary prose; also because I feel it is what the pupils will be most engaged with.
As a fore word to my Advanced Lesson Planning essay, this quote by Peter Hyman whom worked in a challenging Comprehensive School, has been a great summary of reflection for me in completing this assignment;
“These lessons give me a real insight into the extraordinary alchemy of teaching. One day it all works, I’m in good form, the students are focused, I think they are understanding the point, thinking for themselves. The next time, perhaps because I have done less preparation, perhaps because the students are having a bad day, the lesson is lackluster, the students less sparky. For that hour though the class is in my hands. I am in charge, I can inspire or bore, shout or cajole, laugh or get fed up… What seems to be common to all teaching is the need for meticulous planning and pacy lessons that sweep the children along”. (Hyman, 2005, p214).
AfL and Literature
A vast range of studies, guides and books have supported me in developing my advanced lesson planning techniques; guiding me to the various ways in planning lessons. As an English teacher, I feel that one of the most important aspects of a lesson is creativity. If pupils enjoy the lesson, I feel it results in better attention and they actually remember and understand what they have learned. Planning in advance gives you the opportunity to come up with intricate and creative lessons; Graham Butt suggests that the “key to good teaching, purposeful class management and the achievement of sustained educational progress lies in effective preparation and planning” in reflection to my own lessons, I felt that this was sometimes actually a disadvantage. In reflection, my over planning had become a hindrance at times and one lesson had become too regimented, it lacked the natural flow that makes a lesson pleasant. On the other hand, I do still believe that a good lesson cannot happen without a personal skeletal plan as it does structure the lesson well. An increasing amount of studies do support the idea that teachers should not have to plan their lessons at all. This should be a responsibility of the department and that teachers planning actually takes away from teacher’s ability to teach well. “The heads of department are seen as curriculum designers. [Head of maths] Bodil Isaksen wrote and planned the textbook for each topic I taught. Her priority was for me to have strong subject knowledge in the subject I was teaching….After a term, I was amazed by how much maths knowledge the kids had retained…it also came down to consistently good teaching. Yet this was only possible because I had not planned anything. My focus has been on developing my subject knowledge and teaching the kids, not writing three-page lesson plans, or making resources that would have been of sub-standard quality…” (Rizvi 2016). This practice is an interesting development in different ways of teaching and I would be inclined to support it if I were a teacher of more regimented studies such as math where opinions and creativity are not the key to successful results. This way of teaching would certainly not apply to teaching English; one opinion could possibly take a lesson a whole different way and restricting yourself to one teachers style of teaching (lesson plans) I feel would also not make teaching itself enjoyable for yourself or the pupils.
“Belief in the importance of creativity in school” (J.Starko 2010) was encouraged by the English department in School X and it shows in my lesson plans. Studeies suggest that a balance between spontaneous creative thinking in the classroom and advanced lesson planning result in the best lessons but there are more extreme views that suggest that planning in English is pointless altogether too; Crebber suggests that good English teachers “Often don’t quite know what they’re doing” in addition Jeffcoate supports this idea and suggests that lesson objectives should be scrapped and that students should create “a brief statement of intended content- a kind of aide memorie for themselves- plus an evaluation of the lesson afterwards”. It is the teacher’s responsibility to have lesson objectives and aims in high schools. We are guiding pupils in a way we feel would be most beneficial and to give freedom of choice in objectives to up to 30 students at a time at once is nonsensical no matter how pleasant it may sound. Having begun my training in teaching, I have found that pupils need structure and aims in order for a class to be successful and pleasant for both the teacher and student. It is our responsibility to reflect on the lesson plan and decide what must be taught which will “contribute to helping students to learn and succeed” (Sambell, et al. P3). By doing this we of course show progress over time and during the lesson itself. Ofsted habitually foreground the importance of how and when students constantly make progress (Ofsted, 2016) which is shown through good teaching and therefore learning methods; by incorporating the suggestions from studies and observations and fitting them to suit our lessons and adapting them to our own style as every teacher teaches differently but more importantly, to “raise achievement” we must “meet the students’ learning needs” (William 2009). In Despite of many different approaches to planning, I have found that what most studies have in common is that assessment for learning (AFL) is an undeniably useful indication of improving pupils progress; it keeps us teachers in constant understanding of where pupils are in their ability and informs us of our quality of teaching.
Lesson 1 Evaluation
Previously to the lesson starting; I had spoken to the Assistant Teacher and gave her my lesson plans; I had also informed her on the differentiation I would have in worksheets for the EAL pupils sitting with her and briefly explained what I wanted them to achieve, which should also be obvious as I teach as I will be explaining it to all. Starting the lesson itself, I have my objective on the board before the class comes in. This is sometimes difficult if I have a lesson beforehand as I must run from different classrooms, but nevertheless, it is almost always the first thing I do. The lessons objective: To develop a deeper understanding of the characters in Twelfth Night. Pupils had read the play by this point and are familiar with the plot and this objective is easily absorbed. I was conscious that this was a period four lesson and so was conscious of the fact that there might be restlessness. My starter for the lesson was an episode of Jerry Springer which I had on as the pupils came into class. This behavior management technique grabbed their attention as soon as they walked through the door and because there was something already playing, they felt they had to quickly sit and watch before they missed anything, this “structured environment” promotes “patterns of good behavior” (Cowley, 2003, p11) and gets pupils rested before they remember their restlessness.
This episode of Jerry Springer was of a transgender woman telling her current boyfriend that she was a man, with family and friends involved in the video. I felt this was very relevant to Twelfth Night in a modern sense and opened up the discussion of context. After 5 minutes of this show, we spoke about similarities between it and Twelfth Night and a brief dip into contemporary context. I apply a “no hands up” policy in my classroom “to minimize the problem of reluctant or unmotivated children opting out of the whole class teaching” (Myhill, Jones, Hopper, 2006) which I have done since the start of the semester and I always pick randomly using lollypop sticks; asking from the shy to the more confident. One of my favorite comments to this video was from Pupil X (2016), a pupil premium pupil who is exceptionally bright, she stated “It’s weird that Twelfth Night is still technically relevant in this century, I know it’s made up but even though it’s crazy and funny it actually happens!” This comment (among other pupil feedback) is exactly what my purpose of showing this video was as I felt it fed back to me their deep understanding of context and character (AfL). I received unwanted and irrelevant comments too but I rewarded every intelligible comment with a star (as per our reward system) and received the irrelevant, silly comments with none. An AfL (Assessment for Learning) technique used with this flamboyant comparison to Twelfth Night was that it was as a preparation for our final task which would include some drama; concluding with a circle of understanding. Starting with a show we will end with.
At this point, I settled the pupils down and did the register which when we started with Twelfth Night I assigned them each a short quote from this play to say to me instead of “Yes miss”. I sneaked this AfL technique in as I feel it would be helpful in getting them to remember quotes and become comfortable with using them in their essays in the future. After the register, I told them that our final activity was a Jerry Springer style panel in front of the class with each character together. I would interview them with questions as shown on the board (see below) and some surprise ones at the end! Our activity for the next 20 minutes was to prepare a Point Example Explanation paragraph in their books concerning the following questions:
1) Viola…what went through your head when you found out that Olivia fell in love with you? Why?
2) Viola…Why do you fancy someone who loves someone else? Have they shown any particular love for you?
3) Orsino…why do you love someone who doesn’t love you? What is so good about Olivia?
4) Orsino…your love suddenly changes as soon as you find out Viola is a woman…you seem a bit fickle to me…are you? Why?
5) Olivia…what do you think you’ll do or say if you found out the guy you fancied…was actually a woman! Why?
6) Olivia…You have come across to us, the audience and everyone else as untouchable in a way… You don’t want anyone and don’t want anyone to want you, you just want to grieve for your lost family and that’s it…but you change your mind very quickly when Cesario comes by, are you fickle? Or was it true love? Why?
7) Sir Toby…Do you think Cesario would be good enough for your niece, Olivia? Why?
8) Sir Toby…You love to have fun with your friends and pull pranks…especially on Malvolio, why? And do you think there will be consequences in the future? Why/Why not?
Firstly, I gave my own example of a question directed to The Sea Captain, in which I stated that I expect them to match in their P.E.E paragraph:
“Capitain…what did you think when Viola said she was going to dress like a man”
(POINT)”When I heard Viola say she was going to disguse herself as a man, (EVIDENCE)we were coming up to Illyria from a shipwreck…I was justing thinking…this is going to be big trouble! But she was really sad and grieving for her brother she thought she had lost in the wreck! (EXPLANATION) I didn’t want to upset her more with my opinion so I told her “Be you his enuich, and your mute I’ll be: when my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see”…it’s not my place to disagree with the Lady afterall”
I put these questions on the board and I explained that they were to pick the question assigned to the character I had given to them the previous lesson with the silhouette they had filled in with character description. AfL is used here to instantly link back to previous lessons which created self-feedback as their previous work will also reflect upon their answers. These questions were casual and designed to be understood and be provocative much like the Jerry Springer show style. I handed Pupil A and B and the teaching assistant a pre-prepared P.E.E paragraph worksheet to suit their abilities. Unfortunately, in retrospect, everyone should have gotten that sheet as this is where my lesson slightly started to fall apart. I had made the mistake of not putting my own example and exactly what I am asking for on a PowerPoint at least, I had thought that it was simple enough to just explain to them but I ended up for the next 5 minutes re-explaining everything to some separately. I did stop the class after 5 minutes of too much chatter and asked if everyone understood, in which they claimed they did but I explained once again because when I circled the room, not everyone had started yet. At this point they did start to quieten down and get on with their assignment. Bethan Marshall and Dylan William suggest that “formative assessment cannot be done to the pupils but must be done with them.” Which is why I decided to form this Jerry Springer style lesson; I felt that it worked as an assessment as I would be asking questions that would essentially work as essay questions and their responses would be the independent analysis. It would give me the opportunity to intervene and push further responses from them; “The aim is to enable pupils to become independent learners. For this to be effective pupils need time and opportunity to explore and discuss their ideas in order for the teacher to listen to where they are going to intervene appropriately.” (Marshall and William 2006).
After 15 minutes, in order to keep the pupils engaged and more comfortable with standing in front of the class, I myself dressed in a Springer style suit already, put on a blonde wig and glasses and selected a table to come up with their paragraphs, and sit on the chairs with their characters name on it. In retrospect, I should have placed their props on the chair for them because they got a little hyper having to choose their clothes from the basket. They enjoy this but it got messy. While they were doing this, I handed out a worksheet for the audience to fill while they watched, I declared that they are ‘ACTIVE REVIEWERS’. I warned them that if I do not see these being filled and If they are just watching passively, I would issue them a C2 (a negative) and C3 (a detention) for inadequate work. This worksheet worked for the purpose of the audience to be actively involved in the lesson and to help them understand the characters and be actively involved in their viewing. This was beneficial for me as it also doubled as an AfL and formative assessment which would “provide feedback of learning forward” (William, 2011) to me.
I started the interview and found that their replies were not what I had hoped for entirely. Some pupil’s answers were in short abrupt sentences which I had to further probe to expand their explanation. Some were inappropriate and irrelevant. One of the best results from this activity however was when the audience asked questions. I found it satisfying that the pupils could think on the spot and give appropriate answers as their character; it showed that they understood their character enough to be comfortable enough to answer random questions appropriately. And even though I had hoped to see this more in their P.E.E paragraphs, I was relieved to see that the lessons objective had been fulfilled. However in interviewing the panel, the replies were good as such that it helped me monitor the pupil’s progress in character understanding. Some I found had written a lot but were too nervous to even read aloud in front of the class. In reflection, I would ask them to read straight from their books too. I felt this was a failure in my part as I had not been simplistic enough in my explanation. I had done far too much explaining verbally and not enough shown to them in concrete, either on paper or on the wall. In future, if I were to teach this lesson again, I would give each character a hard copy of their questions separately with my “The Sea Captain” example written down next to it. I feel that if I had done that, they would have no excuse as to not have elaborated further in their answers as they would have had a previous example. The class had also gone slightly over the time I had expected and I quickly finished the 3rd panel, asked them to pile their work in the middle of the table, pack up, stand behind their chairs and dismissed them. I felt the end was far too rushed, I tried to cram in too many tables to interview and I did not have time for a good few minute reflection with the class as I had planned at the end.
In collecting their work, I took a note down of some pupils which I would issue a C3 as they had not written anything down in their “reviewers” sheet. These pupils seem to be the same pupils which tended to be very chatty throughout the lesson. Here I instantly decided I would arrange a seating plan for the next lesson. I arranged this seating plan by spreading those with the highest ability in class across the classroom. They also coincidentally or not, are the pupils whom are best behaved and I thought this would reduce the risk of unwanted chatter. I also arranged those who were the lowest ability next to those with the highest as I thought that it would be helpful in our next class which may involve some group work to begin with; I thought this would help with differentiation and while “teaching to the top” this would allow myself to circle the class and “supporting the bottom” (Bodmin 2014, p1) while the higher attaining students would adhere to the challenge of helping those less able around them too; ensuring everyone makes good progress.
This lesson plan that I had spent weeks planning, had, after the first lesson, changed my two other lessons as it did not turn out as straight forward as I had planned. I had planned my three executive lessons weeks before the 3 day event and began extremely optimistic with the first (being my favorite of the three because of the creativity of it). The result of over planning had made this lesson far too complicated and I had made far too many plans to implement. Because of such a thorough plan; I somehow felt that I needed to stick by it for it to be successful which I shouldn’t have done, and in reflection I feel this hindered my ability to adapt a lesson rather than stick to the script. I because very conscious of this in my next two lessons. I was thankful for the Teaching Assistant that was only be allocated with two pupils, Pupil A and B, as their abilities are challenging and different to the rest of the class. The TA being there was very fortunate as it meant I could spread my attention to as many pupils as possible whereas sometimes, when she isn’t there, I find a lot of my attention does fall on those SEN students.
My second lesson started with the rearranging of the seating plan, I had arranged the pupil’s books in the right seat prior to them coming in. I had also used the schools seating plan system on Class Charts for the seating plan as is required in School X and had it clearly displayed on the projector so students could look at that in support if they cannot find their books. Out of 26 students in my class, 4 are in the “High” Prior Attainment Band. I did not stick to these statistics however as I do not believe that those results, based on their KS2 results; are accurate. They are a helpful sieve at the most but I absolutely think that labeling pupils and measuring their intelligence for rest of their school years and ability of what they got in their SATS is unreliable and absolutely unjustifiable. I instead used my judgement and went off their current past tests and general work and input in class. School X does not incorporate numerical grading in their classes, we reward out pupils with AtL: Outstanding, Motivated, Coasting or Unacceptable (see appendix). Two of my reoccurring Outstanding pupils are one Pupil Premium Student A and one EAL Student B, those two along with 4 other students I arranged strategically through the classes next to lower achieving students as I believed it would be helpful to both. I thought by placing them in tables with lower achievers, it may stimulate them to try harder and also allow the higher achievers to reinforce their strengths; and also because they tend to be opposite personalities, I thought it would reduce the risk of unnecessary chatter. This seating plan proved to be a bit of a problem at the start as pupils wanted to sit next to their friends but I quickly shut down this behavior by stating that everyone will sit in their given seats or I would start issuing C2 and C3.
My objectives are always clearly on the board before class begins; Character analysis and a Cold task. A Cold task is an AfL tool where the pupils have a go at writing without any help in order to test where they are in their level of understanding (Hopper 2015). Hopper suggests that this is a powerful and essential practice in improving pupils learning. I had also informed the TA to simply explain the question further to the pupils she will be working with if they need to but not help them in their essay. After they were seated and settled, I began a brief recap of characters and what we had learned from yesterday’s lesson. I had one table left from the panel that I had forgotten about in my plan for this lesson and they wanted to come “on stage” for their performance on Jerry Springer too which I allowed even though it was not in my plan. This took 10 minutes and I had staged it differently to yesterday so that I could then merge swiftly to my next task. I had shifted the tables from the middle of the class and continued with the panel. After this I asked for the characters who were Duke Orsino and Viola to stay back while the rest of the class watched. I asked them to perform Act 2 Scene 4 where Orsino and Viola are discussing love. This is always a fun task as the pupils love to perform and it motivates them to be involved in the lesson. The moving of the tables and chairs does cause a bit of disruption however, but I feel the pros outweigh the cons. We had a discussion of Viola-Cesarios character traits and how fickle she may be. Also we dipped into context when discussing what other reasons she might want to marry Orsino. This scene opened the pupils to our core task the Cold-Task where I gave them an exam style question to answer. Because it is a cold-task, they may not ask questions and must attempt their best to answer the question given to them. This is the first Cold-Task I have set them since starting Twelfth Night and this is an assessment for me to see where each student is in their understanding of the protagonist’s character and their ability to analyse them. It will also help my planning and allows me to set their goals for grammar and writing.
This assessment took the rest of the lesson when I collected their work and dismissed them. I had timed these lessons so that I would have a day’s break in-between the second lesson and third so that I could mark their work in between.
To mark their work, I firstly had an AtL sheet for each student. This sheet is also extremely helpful as it contains A01, A02, A03 and A04 descriptions which I tick in order for students to acknowledge what they have included and what they need to work on. Furthermore, there are two different sheets I use to differentiate lower attaining students from higher as one sheet has higher expectations than the other (see both in appendix). And instead of grading pupils on an even level, these sheets allow us to show pupils where they are according to their targets. For example, one high attaining student could achieve a ‘AtL Coasting even though theirs could have been better than a lower attaining student who may receive an ‘AtL Outstanding’ because that it is judged by their expectation of progress. These sheets are used throughout the English department and so pupils are already familiar with it. In addition, I also used School X’s Grammar and Spelling codes that are used throughout subjects, as well as my own English codes which contain the main points to create an outstanding essay:
- Use clear topic points to start your PEE paragraphs.
- Use a quotation and explain what it tells you.
- Use technical terms (simile, adverb, repetition etc.)
- Analyse at word level. (Explain what different ideas a key word makes the reader think of.)
- Explore a range of interpretations.
- Explain the character’s feelings.
- Comment on the audience’s response.
- Comment on what this tells you about the context of the piece of writing (what understand about the place and time it was written?)
By coding these points, it saved me time marking their essays and having to rewrite them on 26 books and I believe it gets the pupils to be actively involved in the marking; this way they don’t passively look at their marking but are actively involved in writing and reading their feedback. 2 pupils had also not been in class and in case they would be in next lesson, I made sure to have work for them to do too. I wrote a badly written essay response to the exam style question everyone else had, with incorrect grammar and bad syntax. They would correct these while everyone else corrected their own. This would not only not leave them out of the same task, but is a brilliant technique in getting pupils to improve on their analytical skills. By reversing them into a teacher role by correcting essays, they are strengthening their own ability to critically analyse. Furthermore, I highlighted a sentence from each pupil’s books for the next lesson as we will be focusing on word analysis. I felt if I highlight it instead of leaving it to them, I wouldn’t waste time and I could save myself the many unnecessary questions I would have otherwise been asked even if It was clearly explained.
For my third lesson, I insisted on the last lessons seating plan, which I put up on the board again and also with a fun starter since the rest of the lesson would mostly be sitting down and writing. We started with a game of ‘Guess Who’, where one pupil stands in front of the board, I write a character on the board for the audience to see and they have to ask questions to try and guess it in which the audience can only answer yes or no. This was fun, but in retrospect, I should have used whiteboards with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at either side for them to flash because everybody was shouting out and some were helping by shouting out that they ‘drink beer’ etc. A really positive outcome from these kind of starters, is that I tend to sometimes pick the shyest students. I insist on them coming up because they do try to resist, but I feel that they do feel better after they have a go because they do tend to not socialize usually. I feel this breaks their shell a little even if it is in such a small way, I notice they start to become more comfortable in even putting their hands up to answer questions for the rest of the lesson too. Again the Teaching Assistant was in my class and I had previously informed her of my plan; my research states that “The general role of the TA is to work under the direct instructions of teaching/senior staff” (Cheminais, 2008); I don’t necessarily agree with this as the TA has a closer relationship with the students than I do as they are with them in other lessons too. This means they possibly know what works with them better than I do and therefore I always say to the TA that I am open to any suggestions or disagreements she may have about my objective for those particular students.
After this 10 minute starter, I began with handing out the notebooks with my marked essays and instructed the class to go ahead with correcting their SPaG (10 minutes) as they usually do in purple pen. They know to do this from experience and understand the schools codes. As they did this, I set my PowerPoint up which contained my own codes they need to copy down. I had given each student 1 positive comment and maximum 3 codes they need to work on. I instructed them to copy down their code only on their books. I then explained what each point meant and why each one of these points are important in making a great essay. And if they employ each point in their essays well, they couldn’t fail in getting the top marks. After this, I asked a few students what they thought the codes meant to reiterate their understanding. I was pleased to see that they could understand what the codes meant however they struggled to give examples which I had foreseen. Firstly, I started with general feedback; going over some basics I thought the pupils struggled with in general in their essays; from as simple as spelling “Shakespeare” correctly. I felt that this was quite a common mistake and tried to reiterate the importance of consistent and correct spelling.
After this, I decided to focus on the most common difficult point from my code that I thought rippled throughout the class which was “analysing at word level”; explaining what different ideas a key word makes the reader think of. I felt this was important in preparation for exams as word level analysis is important in showing sophisticated and critical, focused interpretations of a meaning. This is especially important in Shakespeare’s texts as he is notorious for employing multiple different meanings in his words. I did not go into homonyms and homographs however as I felt this would really throw them off task at this stage and may complicate things far too much. Instead I focused simply on different interpretations. I gave my own example by picking a word from the section from the essay question; “Concealment”, and gave the following examples:
Shakespeare instigates dramatic irony throughout this scene, in particular through Violas quote “But let concealment…”.
There are many meanings in this noun; in relation to…
- Viola’s feelings: She has concealed what she truly feels towards Orsino, and so “concealment” refers to her hiding of her true emotions.
- Her ‘sister’, She is concealing of course the fact that she is actually talking about herself in this reference. She is the sister. And we as the audience know this (dramatic irony).
- And also in reference to the scene itself. She is after all lying. She is dressed as a man and is concealing who she literally is. A woman.
I talked through these ideas and instructed from the class to focus on the quote I had highlighted in their books only. They must pick a word from that quote to closely analyse as I did. I left my examples up on the board as they did this and gave them 15 minutes to write a paragraph on their word or a short phrase such as “damask cheek”. If they did not know what the word meant, they must look in the dictionary themselves. This did prove to be a difficult task as some students found it difficult to employ more than one meaning from the word, but my seating plan was successful in integrating different abilities together and found that the more able students helped suggest different meanings and successfully worked together. I also circled around and prodded productivity out of some pupils. 10 minutes before the end of the lesson, I stopped the class as I also remembered something I had not put into the PowerPoint which was to remind them how to use quotation marks. I explained that they must quote every section of a quotation they use every time they use it; as well as every time a word is mentioned from the text itself. For example:
–Viola stated that her sister “smiled at grief”…
-Duke Orsino interrogates Cesario on his sibilings “history”.
I felt this was important to add to the lesson as I felt they may passively correct it on their essays, but not integrate it without reinforcing it out loud to the whole class. In the last few minutes, I got a few pupils to feedback on their chosen word to the rest of the class. This AfL feedback I thought was needed in order to check if pupils have understood what to do and the replies were a great progress. Something I certainly need to work on as a teacher is to stop going over the bell. Have students packed before the bell goes but I always feel I don’t have enough time to neatly close a class without rushing. My observer also agreed with this and suggested I “download a timer to put on the board for each lesson, and time students activities” (Teacher A, 2016).
In reflecting upon my lessons, through the studies and feedback I have learned why some aspects of a lesson went worse than I had expected and others better, encouraging me to understand and take effect on my strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. The importance of AfL has become a standard consideration in my ongoing lessons, I feel this is what is key to the development on students’ progress. School X has been open to their student teachers taking risks in lessons with different strategies, thus encouraging the development of TS1 as pupils tend to love a lesson that is ‘different’ and I feel my lessons inspire and motivate pupils to do well. My strength does also lie in the fact that I have good subject and curriculum knowledge (TS3) which shows in my ability to adapt my lessons to modern forms as well as the contemporary state of the text which allows me to plan a creative lesson.
Through studies I have read, they have affected my future planning drastically in the sense that I have been allowed to try different styles to find which ones are actually most successful in practice; I find that the implication of assessments frequently does encourage Ts2 and Ts6 as pupils are constantly tested about what they have been learning; encouraging a more alert and active style of learning because students constantly expect to be tested on their knowledge. As a result of this Advanced Lesson Plan essay, one of the principle lessons I have come to learn is that AFL doesn’t come in the form of written tests and assessments and even objectives; “It is not always appropriate that pupils should be able to say at the end of a lesson what they have learned. Not all learning in English is of that kind”, assessments can be tested verbally, in chunks through the lesson and many more ways. I feel this is important to have realised because it really broadens your style of teaching and ability to understand that not all traditional tests of how a pupil has progressed are appropriate for each student (Ts2); this has therefore developed my understanding of pupil’s different styles of learning and cognitive needs (Ts5). I feel that I am moving closer to TS7 by being stricter on C2s and C3s and issuing them instantly; but I still have a lot to work towards as I sometimes fail to take control of the class straight away when they are misbehaving. Another weakness I have, as stated previously is my ability to stick with time, I feel that I do over plan and instead of maybe taking a part of my lesson off to allow for more time and adapt materials within the timeframe, I cram everything in which I am trying to illuminate from my habit. Ultimately, my time management also effects TS5 which is an area of my teaching that I must put even more attention to; I feel that I fall into the trap of relying on the TA being there too much and supporting them when it is ultimately my job to do so.