Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Evidence that Fran cannot be trusted to take lesson observations seriously

I'm having one of my English lessons officially observed next week.  My friend, who's also a teacher, says I need to 'introduce an element of risk, because that's what they like'.

I am considering one or more of these strategies to introduce said element of risk:

Risk Strategy 1.  Teach coastal erosion.  I know nothing about coastal erosion, so this should definitely introduce an element of risk.  If I find a nifty little way of linking it into one of their GCSE Literature texts, I'm sure this will prove acceptable. ('Of Mice and Men' is about mice ... mice live behind skirting boards ... skirting boards are around the edge of rooms ... coasts are around the edges of land ... link sorted.)  In fact, I've got my essay title planned already.  'Coastal erosion and the Wall Street Crash: discuss.'

Lennie looked anxious.  'If ah tell George I was the one who pushed that ol' house nearly off
that damn cliff, he ain't gonna let me tend the rabbits,' he thought.  


Risk Strategy 2. Teach while dressed as a domino.  This should introduce into a lesson an aspect of surprise which will heighten the atmosphere and help the kids to keep focused.  My mum dressed me as a domino once for a fancy dress party when I was a kid.  She took a white pillowcase, found a marker pen, drew a thick black line across the middle of it and some dots above and below it, and then cut a hole in the top for my head.  My mum wasn't handy with a needle and this was the only idea she could come up with.  If I teach dressed as a domino, I'm sure this also counts as a cross-curricular link (2 dots plus 1 dot equals 3 dots equals link with numeracy.)

Fran was thrilled to find, on Google Images, evidence that others, too, spent
hours and hours on their fancy dress costumes.


Risk Strategy 3. Do the whole lesson in a Welsh accent.  When we're reading 'Of Mice and Men', this is definitely going to bring in some elements of risk, because it's very hard to say, 'I'm gunna git maself down to the cathouse and git maself a gal an' no one ain't gunna do nuttin' abou' it' as though you were born and bred in Abergavenny.   Saying that line in itself in the middle of an observed lesson on 'Of Mice and Men' is going to be risky anyway, because there's no such line in the book.  But you know what ah mean, sure ya do.


Fran prepared for her lesson by getting into the role and practising
saying 'Le's go and buck barley,' with a lilt

34 comments:

  1. Love it. The joy of observations in which you take a risk but also get penalised for the pencil flicking, note passing (sorry texting) and inscribing one's name lovingly into the desk. All of which Ofsted criteria fail to understand is an essential part of a rounded education. Truly outstanding lessons should also contain chewing up tissue and seeing if it can be spat at the ceiling, making the teacher cry and dropping bags out of the window. Although the latter is only really effective when your lesson is taking place on the third floor.

    Best of luck...do you also have the delightful learning walks and climate strolls at your place?

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    1. Learning walks I know about. But .. climate strolls? Please do tell. Let me guess. Someone walks through your room, and unless you have organised for an unusual weather system to occur as part of your lesson plan, you get a fail?

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    2. I like it, I have been intrigued ever since a colleague mentioned them. I have been imagining those little cartoon clouds hovering over the the learning walk teams heads (ooh that is one mangled sentence!!!).

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  2. An element of risk? I think you should get everyone to play Russian roulette like in some old Vietnam war film... that would be pretty risky!

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    1. Steve, you have such good ideas. Maybe we could also play 'Spin the Bottle' and the one to whom the bottle points gets an A* for their essay. What a great way of saving on the marking.

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  3. Teaching is supposed to be a challenge--not learning! (Although I DO wish I had had a teacher like you.)

    LOVED "BEING MISS"!!!!!

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    1. I'm really pleased you liked it, fishducky. If you get a spare moment, pop a review on Amazon for me, saying something like, 'Burn all your other books and buy a thousand copies of this one instead.'

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  5. If you're not insisting on the challenge being intellectual , I can lend you some of ours for a couple of hours . They have been known to bite ....

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    1. Bite? Mine are a bit old to bite, although there's always a first time...

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  6. Hmmmmm - I've got a couple of observers coming in tomorrow... I'm currently reading Hatchet with the kids. That gives me lots of creative ideas!!! :)

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    1. I don't know 'Hatchet'. I'll look that one up.

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  7. That coastal erosion picture would probably prompt a bunch of kids to say, "Cool!"

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    1. You're right, Stephen. I guess I could get them to write a piece imagining they were in the house ... not a bad idea!

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  8. an element of risk?
    Perhaps try letting the children into the classroom?

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    1. Damn! I thought it had been quiet!

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  9. What a joy to read your circumlocution this grey day - a truly 'dotty' offering, Ms Domino...

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    1. Ooh, get YOU with the Latinate words!! Circumlocution! Good to have a bit of culture around, to be honest.

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  10. Or you and the whole class could dress as dominoes, stand in a line, get someone to push the one at the end and....well, you know what I'm getting at.

    (Of course, becasue of H&S issues, you'd have to have a "trained first-aider" standing by, but that would be a small price to pay for so much innocent fun.)

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    1. Frances, that's a marvellous idea. I would get LOADS of credit for risks then.

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  11. Beware of dressing as a domino. Your shortcomings maybe easily spotted. Don't worry though, you can get it off with turps.

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    1. Alas, all my shortcomings have been well and truly spotted, Martin. You can't be a teacher and expect to hide any of them.

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  12. I look at Of Mice & Men in a whole new light now after my two studied it.

    An element of risk - do the lesson nude ? Pillow cases make great costumes. Jess was a twinkling star once - pillow case slit for neck & arms - stars added - result !

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    1. An ELEMENT of risk in doing the lesson nude? An ELEMent???

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  13. I've been introducing an element of risk into the library by raising and lowering my new high chair depending on the height of the borrower - it's surprising how high those things go.

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  14. What about a lesson straight from the Downton Abbey era? You can dress up, role play and achieve your dream of being in a period drama all at once AND get paid for it.

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    1. I'd look a right banana showing my Powerpoint in a dress with a hoop.

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  15. Dressing up as Dominos would also get you a cross-curricular merit for linking with Home Economics.
    I'll have a stuffed crust Hawaiian, please, extra pineapple.

    Anna May x

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    1. Cut out the corny jokes, Anna May, or I'll give you a pizza my mind. Finished your book btw. What a great read.

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    2. And have just posted a review on Amazon. Well-deserved.

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  16. THANK YOU Fran, for your kind words and for taking the trouble to write an Amazon review. I wish you much fudge.

    Anna May x

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    1. That's the best wish anyone has ever wished for me.

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