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January 03, 2012

TIP NUMBER 6 – Be observant

Starting a GTP year, you have little experience of standing in front of a class, let alone, imparting wisdom. It is therefore imperative to find out who the awesome teachers are in a school (best way to find that out - ask the students) and go and observe them. I had 3 ASTs at my school last year, and another 4 at my complimentary placement, and I managed to see all of them at least once. One thing that struck me with all of them, was their awareness of what has occurring at any given point. Simply brilliant, and now something I want to aspire to.

Pupil tracking is a great way to start. and you fully appreciate the school day as a whole. Observing teachers in other subjects is imperative. I learnt so much last year from an English and a D+T teacher in particular. The English teacher even made taking the register useful, asking each to answer with a key word from the previous lesson. One thing I wish I would have done, and aim to do this coming term, is go and observe an IT teacher. My computer based lessons have been hit and miss, as it so much easier for a student to go off track. Getting some key ideas in how to maintain their on-taskness (it is a new word I've invented) is a priority for me.

I had one of those mini-essays on observing 5 good pieces of practice. Maybe it would be a good initiative to write the same essay each term, but using different examples. 15 good pieces of practice in the bank seems like a solid foundation to build a career in teaching upon.

So, watch as many people as possible. If you are in a department with a number of sets all doing similar things, observe a couple of teachers teaching the same thing. It is so interesting seeing how colleagues approach things differently, what they emphasise in lessons as important.

So watch, watch, watch.

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