November 26, 2010

First Observed Lesson – Post Mortem

Yesterday marked the occasion of my first observed lesson.  The BTEC First Creative and Media guys have been working in small groups on a PowerPoint presentation based upon 'Advertising'. 

Holly delivered a brilliant observed lesson last Thursday on 'Good Presentation Technique'; and it was my aim to draw upon the key points of that lesson, throw in a couple of my ideas and then instill all of these elements into the younger minds.

I made use of an acronym I learned a long time ago, RSVP, Rhythm Speed Volume Pitch; with regards to voice projection and I made use of a monologue by David Carradine (RIP) in Tarantino's Kill Bill: Volume 2.

"Take my favorite superhero, Superman. Not a great comic book. Not particularly well-drawn. But the mythology... The mythology is not only great, it's unique.  Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there's the superhero and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn't become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears - the glasses, the business suit - that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He's weak... he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race. Sorta like Beatrix Kiddo and Mrs. Tommy Plimpton."

The above monologue was firstly ready by a student, then by the exemplar.  It worked well, or so I was told!

Overall, I am aware that I need to make full use of the resources behind me and this may now involve an element of self-teaching which has never failed me in the past.  All in all a very satisying experience.  I was waiting all morning for the nerves to kick in, but I was rather busy and then half an hour prior to the start of the lesson I had time to re-arrange the furniture, chomp an imitation Bounty bar and then it was all go-go-go.

It's a shame that this placement is so short, which it is, or at least it feels like it is.

I would be very interested to know how the observed lessons of my colleagues went.  


- 6 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Been having one or sometimes a couple throughout all the weeks I have been at the school. They seem to be mostly alright! It was slightly concerning when a teacher said my lesson was “Good, but I’d be worried if you taught a lesson like that next week or the week after…”! And sometimes I find the observations really conflicting with each other, like once I was told I was too mean and then the next week I was told that I let some of the pupils walk all over me… so, yeah. I was a little confused by that…

    26 Nov 2010, 16:59

  2. John

    The trouble is that you are being observed by humans who are not infallible and so their observations may not be correct.

    26 Nov 2010, 17:34

  3. Very true indeed mysterious Mr. John, however I did agree with their assertions, on THIS occasion.

    26 Nov 2010, 19:27

  4. John

    Sorry, I didn’t make it clear, Roger – I was replying to Daniel who was concerned about the inconsistancies displayed by the observers.

    26 Nov 2010, 22:25

  5. I know, I’m aware. And I’m becoming increasingly aware of what kind of feedback I get from each teacher. I guess I’m just adjusting my teaching style slightly for each lesson. It’s only that I’m teaching in so many different departments (Creative and Media, Drama, PSE and English) with the different teachers in each department, that I’m being kept on my toes.

    27 Nov 2010, 09:57

  6. Yes John I thought you were replying to Mr. Walker’s comments however I was just curious as to who you were?

    29 Nov 2010, 13:35


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