Have I made anyone feel good about themselves this week?

When told to reward myself with one extra glass of red, my thoughts turned to the two trainee teachers whom I am mentoring at the moment.

“Congratulations,” I beamed at my two unsuspecting trainee teachers in our 5-minute meeting (in school terms, this can mean between 10 minutes to half an hour) after school. Following the two lessons when they were shadowing me in the morning, I asked to see them for their reflections at the end of the day. The day had its added pressure on all concerned as it was the second of our Review days (aka Mocfsted) when 3 HM Inspectors came in to conduct an Ofsted-style inspection. I had a full teaching day with 6 periods back to back, plus the usual duties involved as a Form Tutor. On top of that, there was also our regular pre-school all staff briefing. Having to meet your trainee teachers’ need further complicate the day’s task, especially when there’s no knowing whether or not the Inspector would call.

They exchanged bewildered looks, “What, what’s this about?”

“You have just got your first ‘Outstanding’,” I blurted out, “Remember the lesson that you helped me plan, with your annotations of the text?” I explained whilst they expressions hovered between fright and confusion, with their uneasy smiles. “The Inspector came in to observed the lesson, and it was given a ‘1’!” I tried to put their fear to rest.

“Really? Wow!” Now, they were genuinely befuddled, but I could see their body language relaxing at the same time. “But we didn’t teach it.”

“But you were part of the planning. Make sure you use this as your evidence that you took part in collaborative planning which resulted in an ‘Outstanding’ lesson,” I explained.

In the next half an hour, I made sure that the seed of pride and self-belief was safely furrowed into their subconsciousness.

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About W. S. Lien

Tweed Wearer - Country Lover - Teacher Researching Professionalism and Identity@Clare College, Cambridge - Keen Amateur Photographer - Devotee to Poppy my Labrador
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