What observing involves

Q: How often should an NQT be officially observed teaching, and should they be judged like Ofsted observations? Mine seem different from those on my PGCE.

A: You should have at least one observation with oral and written feedback every six to eight weeks (that is, one each half-term). You may be observed teaching more often, but don't worry, see it as a way to get more advice. Using Ofsted ratings is unhelpful, unnecessary and may be inaccurate. Is your observer a trained inspector? With the short notice inspection system, senior staff in some schools are watching lessons so often it's damaging teachers' morale. The value of observation depends on how well it's planned, executed and discussed afterwards. It needs to be helpful to you so that you become a better teacher. Talk to your induction tutor about what feedback has helped you develop, and what hasn't.

* We're happy to answer your problems about any aspect of your NQT year. Unfortunately, our experts cannot enter into personal correspondence with readers but will treat all your enquiries in the strictest confidence.

Please email any questions you have to: nqtextra@tes.co.uk

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