So you’ve managed to get some time in a school doing classroom observation – great! But what are you supposed to be observing to make the most of your time and strengthen your application?
You need to be aware of what to observe in a school, and should approach it as an exercise to enhance your skills for application and interview. When approaching schools for observation experience, it helps if they know that you have considered what your objectives are beforehand. Some teachers might also expect you to participate in the lessons rather than just observe.
To make sure your classroom observation is effective try to be aware of:
- the National Curriculum, national strategies and subject organisations (for example: The Association for Science Education, The Mathematical Association)
- the key stages and age ranges
- teachers’ roles and responsibilities
- lesson planning – consider short and long-term objectives
- classroom management – behaviour, groupings, resources, timing and pastoral care
- classroom organisation – how groups or activities are set out and prepared
- differentiation – special educational needs (SEN), inclusion, English as an additional language (EAL)
- assessment for learning – short- and long-term, including tests and exams
- the role of ICT
- the role of support staff in the classroom.
You should also try to be aware of the differences between teaching styles, schools, pupils and resources. No two lessons will be the same.
And don’t forget the simple things – dress smartly, bring a notepad and pen to make note of all the things you are learning and most of all enjoy it!
Register with us for more information about teaching and support with your application to teacher training.