This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
Placement school A is an independent boarding and day school, which upholds a holistic view to education giving pupils the opportunity to flourish and develop. This is a small school of around 350 pupils aged 13 to 18, made up of a varied mix of British and overseas pupils, who spend as little as one term at the school. The school has been recognised by Ofsted as outstanding.
The lesson that I taught was to a year 10 class of five pupils, one boy and four girls. The current scheme of work is Observation/Abstraction where they had been doing observational drawings that will ultimately lead to producing an abstract painting. The lesson which I taught was for them to produce a tracing and monoprint of the observation drawing college they had already produced. The main aim was to get them thinking about the lines they will be using within their abstract painting.
Overall I feel that the lesson went well. To plan and prepare for the lesson I worked with what I had learnt about the class when I met the group and had a quick look at their work during their previous lesson. From this I was able to figure out what I wanted the class to know, understand and be able to produce from my activity and how it would build on the work they had previously been doing and how it would lead into the next stage of their project. When setting out learning objectives in relation to where the class are within a scheme of work I feel that I had enough information to go by to plan and prepare the lesson that I taught, but I know that I will be able to set more suitable learning objectives for the class when I have been with the class a bit longer. I will gain awareness of the students' prior knowledge and I can tailor my learning objectives on their strengths, but also build on their weaker areas of knowledge. To improve I will do this during the next lesson by asking more questions so I can gain more of an idea of previous experience and knowledge the pupils have on an individual basis.
Within the class there were two pupils on the schools SEND register. I read the information from the SEND register which gave me a clear idea of what I needed to do to meet the needs of these pupils. Both pupils had previous history of literacy difficulties, from this information I was aware that for any writing tasks I would need to provide aids such as word banks or writing frames to support their learning but also allowing more time for them to complete writing tasks. This lesson did not involve any reading or writing but I knew that by making my instructions clear and allowing the pupils' time to process the information would give the pupils' the best opportunity to meet the learning objectives of the lesson like any other pupil. Within this class there was also one pupil who had been highlighted as gifted and talented (G&T). I used the idea of differentiation within the task objectives that I had planned by using levels of achievements of all, most and some within the objectives. I managed to differentiate but it was very broad. Over time I will get to know the pupils' abilities more and I will be able to range my objectives to cover all. In the future I will extend challenges for the G&T I could do this for this lesson by showing an extension task, for example using different papers, overlapping of prints or the use of different tools to print with.
From the beginning of the lesson I had established an effective working relationship with the pupils' with calm, clear direction and a patient approach the pupils settled quickly and on task. Due to the nature of the school and the art department the entrance to the classroom was relaxed, the pupils made their own way into the room and sat themselves down with their books out and they were attentive ready to begin working. This approach I feel is appropriate to the school and my subject mentor had suggested I kept to the routine. Personally I would prefer a more structured entrance and the opportunity to set a standard of expected behaviour so that each pupil can get the most out of the lesson. I feel that what Capel et al acknowledge supports the need for this in the first instance:
"Effective Teaching occurs where the learning experience structured by the teacher matches the needs of each learner" (2009, p.19)
One SMART target I set myself was to successfully engage with the class on my first encounter of teaching the group. Capel et al also state that
"Adopting a firm, fair, friendly approach helps you develop good relationships with pupils." (2009)
I felt that I needed to create a teacher - pupil relationship that would not only enable me to get to know them, their level of attainment and the way they learn best but also for the pupils to get to know who I am, why I am there and the expectations I have of them. I believe that this can be an important part of teaching from observations I have done of other teachers within the department. They have managed to create good teacher - pupil relationships and this enables them to deliver effective lessons which the enables the pupils to learn.
There was a late comer to the class which my Subject Mentor had commented on saying that I integrated them into the lesson without fuss. This led to me reflecting on how I would have dealt with it if it had been more than one pupil late and also if the class size was larger. Over time, with a more formal classroom entry I would be able to make more of an informed decision on how I would deal with this situation and the consequences it has for the pupil and also the rest of the class.
Within social constructivism, being able to shape the exposure and experience for the pupils they will in return respond to the stimuli leading to an efficient way of learning. I feel that this can be implemented by making them aware of at the beginning and reiterating throughout and in the plenary, lesson objectives. Unfortunately there is not anywhere to display the objectives such as a white board so in future lessons to overcome this producing a printout with the objective on. Within the plenary we could then look at and reflect on what the pupils had learnt from the lesson. Within the plenary of this lesson I used the questions on my activity map. The students were slightly reserved in answering the questions I proposed to them. In future lessons I need to actively engage the whole class. I would be able to do this by getting them to be more proactive in responding to my questions or to use more structured prompts for responses. This discussion fed into my summative assessment of their understanding.
From looking at the National Curriculum within subject sessions I was able to think about how the lesson I wanted to teach would cover parts of the National Curriculum within art. As the lesson was going to be very practical with materials, processes and expanding their knowledge I decided to focus on 1.1 Creativity points1, 2 and 3, 1.2 Competence point 2 and 3 Range and content point 3.2.
Also within our subject session we had discussed about lesson planning. (Appendix) This gave me the knowledge to make informed decisions about what I needed to put into my activity map to create a successful lesson. I learnt how important setting specific objectives for a lesson can be. I used WALT so that I could define what I wanted the students to know, understand or be able to do by the end of the lesson. I wanted the pupils to expand their knowledge of different media, techniques and processes as I had done myself in a sketchbook workshop we took part in as part of our subject knowledge for teaching. This linked well to their current scheme of work as they had been focusing on line. I felt that this would get them thinking about line in a different way especially using a piece of work they had already done to link onto the next task they were going to do. With it being fresh in my mind I could imagine from the pupils point of view how I would need to give clear instructions to make learning the process understandable, as for most, it would have been a new experience.
The first demonstration I did was of the tracing I expected them to do. They then proceeded to carry out this task themselves. This took up more time than I had planned for. My Subject Mentor observed this and how I resolved it.
"Your tracing activity took longer than expected but students caught up in the monoprinting phase owing to clear direction."
Another SMART target I set myself was to deliver planned lesson accurately to timings ensuring I get all the tasks in. This stems from previous experience of teaching where there was no boundary of time. So I knew that this is one aspect which I wanted to ensure that I can do to be an effective teacher. In overall reflection of the monoprint demonstration there was another point in the demonstrations I feel that I could improve on. I mentioned what to do with too much ink but I did not do a practical demonstration of this. So in future lessons I need to ensure that I not only show how to do the task but to also show what not to do and how to resolve it.
When planning my lesson I had to consider how I was going to assess what they had learnt. I had observed the way both teachers in the department monitored the learning within their classrooms. They did so in a formative way observing how the pupils were progressing. Questioning them about their work and giving constructive feedback an individual basis. This is a way of assessment for learning as it is "an assessment for which the first priority is to serve the purpose of promoting students learning." Capel et al. (2009. P 342). They also used summative assessment, monitoring progress in a formal way. They had a project checklist in the back of their sketchbooks, which was checked on a regular basis by the teacher against what work is in their sketchbooks. This also formed the way pupils got set homework. By having the checklist in the back of their sketchbook the pupils use it as a reminder of tasks they need to, but also feedback from the teacher of extended work they need to do. As my lesson had not been integrated into this checklist and we did not do the task in their sketchbooks I decided to give an informal monitoring of their learning. Throughout the task I circulated round the room supporting students individually in a formative way. As I circulated the room I noticed the pupils worked well and relatively independent. Whilst doing so I was giving praise to the pupils on how they were working and on task. Behaviourism suggests that the idea of reinforcement is a critical part of the learning process.
"Positive reinforcement usually comes in the form of praise or rewards or attention i.e. something that is likely to increase the chances of that behaviour in the future." (lecture handout learning theories26/9/12)
What I was looking for in terms of an outcome at the end of the lesson was for the pupils to show understanding of the task and process of mono-print by producing their own mono-print. This showed to me that the pupils had managed to fulfil all of the learning objectives that I had written on my activity map, leading to the pupils achieving the learning outcomes. This shows that they had understood the process and were learning the skills needed to work with this medium. The repetition of more than one print shows that they are able to work independently and that they had broadened their repertoire of skills and knowledge. All of this is shown in the photographs I have taken of samples of pupils work. (appendix)
To conclude, from the positive and constructive feedback from my Subject mentor and from my own evaluation of my first lesson, I feel it was successful. It was the starting point for thinking about lesson planning and delivery, so that the pupils have been able to learn from it and I have been able to reflect on how I have had an impact on their learning. Throughout I have been critical in analysing the activity in relation to my teaching and the way the pupils' have learned from the lesson. This has been useful in my development as a teacher being able to relate practice to ideas, perspectives and theories that are the backbone underpinning everything a teacher does and is about.