Teaching an observed lesson at interview

15th May 2013 at 01:00

Teaching an observed lesson at interview


This is obviously a very important part of the selection process, but in many ways it is also the easiest part, as you are actually used to doing this!

You teach regularly, and if you are still a student, you are also used to being observed very regularly. Teachers already in post are also getting observed ever more often. So it should be less nerve-racking than the other parts of the day.  And there is masses of help available for you.  The TES has some really helpful pages to give you just the tips that you need.


Firstly, here's an excellent How To Do It article.

Something about planning your lesson.

Aiming for outstanding? Here are some tips.


Invest in some books that will help you now and when you are teaching

These books will help you plan and deliver an observed lesson. Two points here: firstly I am NOT paid to recommend them (wish I were - I'd be rolling in it!), and secondly masses of posters who have bought the books on my recommendation say how good they are:

8910rebecca: "This book is superb. I am nearing the end of the 4 year BA and I cannot understand why I didn't buy "Pimp Your Lesson" when I started the course!"


So here is the first one that I commend to you:



And there is also this one:



My own personal tips to you are these:

  • Remember to have differentiation clearly marked in your lesson plan, and thrust a copy of the plan on the observer
  • Have an extra section at the end of your plan, where you suggest what the follow-up should be
  • Don’t stick to your plan like grim death! If it is clear that you have got the level wrong, adapt to suit the needs of the pupils. 
  • Therefore, come with a Plan B, just in case
  • Be prepared, in the interview, to say what went well, how you know it went well, and what you might change another time


And a very very VERY big warning.

Although for a lesson where you are not on interview, you will often use the TES Resources lessons, don't use this for an interview.  A school wants to see how you can plan a lesson, not just how you can deliver a lesson planned by someone else.  If that was what they wanted, they would just have issued all candidates with their lesson plan for them to go and do it.


And worst of all, don't use someone else's lesson plan and then claim it is yours when they ask you about it at interview.  


There's quite a good chance that the school will recognise it - the very best lessons are very well known.  One Head posted on the JobSeekers Forum that she had four - 4 - candidates who all gave a lesson that had been recommended by someone on the TES Primary Forum.  She recognised it, but it wouldn't have mattered much if she hadn't, as they all gave the same one . . .


And even worse, one Deputy Head Secondary observed an interview lesson, asked the candidate some questions about it, how she had devised the materials, etc., and wasn't too convinced by the answers.   This was because the Deputy Head had devised the materials and the lesson plan herself, and uploaded then to the TES Resources.


So just as we say that you should write your own supporting statement or letter, for the lesson too we say:




Best wishes  and very best of luck.