Could Do Better

Up early today, although I can’t add the usual ‘bright and’ to that statement. After a somewhat disturbed night of strong winds (huffing and puffing and trying to blow our house down) and torrential rain (which would not normally enter the actual house, but managed to sneak in by landing on the absorbent furry back of Black Cat, who obligingly carried aforesaid rain upstairs and shook it all over me), I did not feel bright, just early.

Off to my interview, with all the eight million bits of paper that they had asked me to bring, plus many more I had added to the already enormous pile of the stuff for reasons which still escape me. Perhaps I was being thorough. Yes, that sounds good, I’ll stick with ‘being thorough’ as an excuse.

I arrived and said hello to the other candidates, said hello to the Head of Maths, said hello to the Headteacher.

First up for me was a session supporting a lesson, which I really enjoyed. I was with a lovely class, I got the chance to watch someone else teach (a rare event these days, unfortunately) and quickly realised I was involved in a really engaging lesson that was being very skillfully delivered. I circulated around, helping out and talking to students. I left with a warm fuzzy feeling and a nice idea for a different way to teach correlation stored away for future use. So far, so good.

Next up was an interview with a panel from the School Council. I’ve had these before, but on previous occasions I’ve often ended up basically interviewing myself (Shall I tell you about myself? Shall I tell you why I like maths? Shall I tell you…? Oh, you get the idea), because previously I’ve been faced with a bunch of tongue-tied students who seemed to be lacking any actual questions. Not today though, these students were brilliant: confident, well-prepared, cheerful, articulate. I really enjoyed that session as well. I left feeling very happy.

Then a break and a chance to collect my thoughts before the start of the next session in which it was my turn to teach.

There is a time and a place to have a shambolically bad lesson. (The last lesson on a wet Friday afternoon could be considered a good choice, or perhaps Madam would prefer a freezing cold morning when the heating is being temperamental? May I recommend a side order of Dog In The Playground [pdf link]?) That time and place is obviously not in the middle of an interview, but sheesh, I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

My class arrived, they were a bit noisy, many (but by no means all) were a bit disengaged, a few were late. Pretty typical of many groups in many schools then. In fact, pretty typical of a couple of classes that I deal with every single week. So I can offer no sensible explanation for my complete failure to get to grips with a fairly commonplace situation.

Was the lesson a total disaster? No. Would I have offered me a job – even on the main pay scale, never mind as an AST – based on my rather dismal performance? No. Not a chance. It was a shocker.

She thinks it’s all over. It is now!

So we’re putting that one down to experience. Could do better. Much better. šŸ˜›

3 comments to Could Do Better

  • Ah, damn. But maybe not. You might just be being overall harsh on yourself. It could have all gone wonderfully well in the eyes of others.

    Either way, so long as you got something out of it, it is still a bonus.

  • Theres a lot of variables in this.

    For example, trying to create instant rapport with a group who may not be the best motivated and know you are only there for one session. What’s in it for them?

    The key thing here in any case is taking the steps, which you have done, and sometimes its also necessary to gather some additional experience along the way.

    The way you describe it certainly shows good self critique, even if, perhaps, a little harsh.

    Good luck as you go onward and upward.

    best, rashbre.

  • Yokshire Pudding

    Aw shucks! As some armchair philosophers might speculate – “It wasn’t meant to be.” Idiots! Still I can see that you have already learnt from the experience. Better luck next time!