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i like teaching but not observations

I like teaching, but I don’t like to do it under observation

An assessment requirement in any teacher training programme such as the Level 3 Award in Education and Training is to complete your microteach which is a 15-minute teaching activity of your choosing.

When I went through university, my trick was to down some whiskey to calm the nerves but this is not what I recommend you do.

Being prepared for an observation is one of the best ways to ward off nerves. If you have a solid game plan, you'll feel less nervous about what might happen. You should write out your schedule of events in your session plan.

What is quite staggering is the single biggest mistake trainee teachers make is not referring to their session plan. I don’t need to use mine when teaching the Level 3 Award in Education and Training because Im familiar with it. But you need to create a session plan and you should use it.

Preparation is everything. Sessions normally go two ways, either there is not enough content or there is too much. And guess which one is better? Its hard to fill time if you are not prepared, whereas if you over plan, you can just stop once you meet the requirement.

After completing your microteach, all learners on the Level 3 Award in Education and Training say that time flew by. And that is because they prepared. The more you know about the topic, the more you know about your plan, the more confident you will be.

The worst case scenario for being nervous is that you’ll be a bit fidgety and might rush your content. This is not enough to fail you. Take a deep breath and follow your session plan.

The truth about teaching observations is that its not about the teacher, its actually about the learning so the focus is on the learners and not the teacher. Ensure that you introduce your topic briefly and get your learners immediately into an activity.

This is where you will use your expertise to help your learners. You’ll be so busy going around and dealing with your learners that you’ll lose track of time.

When you enrol on the Level 3 Award in Education and Training, here are 4 tips to help you overcome your nerves.

1. Don’t Overthink It!

In my early teaching days, I often made the mistake of securing the tablet trolley, printing QR codes, planning oodles of group work and hoping to dazzle the observer and it should come as no surprise that this stuff often went wrong. The tablets weren’t properly charged. The QR codes wouldn’t scan and the group work often fell flat. Keep it simple.

2. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?”

Ask yourself what the worst outcome of an observation could be and then consider just how likely that is to happen – the chances are, not at all. If there’s a possibility that your worst fears could come to fruition… make allowances for it. If you know that you might lose your USB stick, email the lesson to yourself or put it on your OneDrive account. If you feel that an activity is a risk, could you do it another way? Remember, even if the worst happens, it’s one of many observations and you’ll have plenty of feedback to act upon for next time and on the Level 3 Award in Education and Training, you’ll just be asked to do it again.

3. Command Your Adrenaline!

This is a great tip. If anything fear is likely to get the adrenaline flowing, it’s a lesson observation. Use that adrenaline to offer the most engaging, lively and enthusiastic delivery you can instead of letting that anxiety get the better of you. Use that nervous energy to sail from table to table, from question to question and to deal with any and all hitches in your stride. Teachers, by their nature, are innovators and improvisers and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with thinking on your feet when an observer is in the room.

4. If it doesn’t work, change it.

Just because its not on your plan, it doesn’t mean you cant do it. Sometimes sessions fall flat, I experiment with different activities when teaching the Level 3 Award in Education and Training and the only way of knowing if they work or not is by practicing, if it works fantastic but if it doesn’t work, change it. There is nothing wrong with making changes on the spot.

Ready for your Microteach? Start your Level 3 Award in Education and Training.

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matthew reynolds
Mathew Reynolds | Managing Director and Teacher
Welcome to the ETA. It is my goal to help you get your qualifications in the easiest and quickest way. Unlike other training providers, I am putting my name and reputation on the line, I am not hiding behind logos, this is me, this is my company and I am accountable for you to reach your goals.
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