Over the coming weeks I will feature a ‘How to’ post on my blog, in advance of teaching practice for some of you. I know I should be moving on to writing about subbing and so on, but I still remember vividly the sheer stress and panic of teaching practice one. Maybe that was just me! I think Hibernia is an outstanding course, but I do feel that my cohort were not sufficiently prepared for teaching practice. It may have changed since, but we weren’t even given a sample lesson plan, nor had we covered the core subjects before teaching them. As a result I got a B. I was delighted with it at the time, but I wish I could say I got three A’s on TP rather than two. Anyway, I digress. This post is about preparing for the INSPECTOR!!
I will focus on Irish today, as I feel out of all the subjects I was inspected in this was my strongest.
1. Do not speak a word of English during the lesson. It is just not acceptable and they will comment on it. It happened to a few in my class. If you find the kids do not understand you, then you are to mime or draw a picture or use simpler Irish.
2. Begin with an activity, so in Irish it could be ‘Deir Muzzy’ or ‘Cluiche Kim’ or ‘Feicim le mo shúile’. I would spend five minutes on the activity. Then use flashcards to introduce the new vocabulary. The teacher says the word first and the children repeat it.
3. Include comhrá. I did ‘Bia’ for my inspection. I set up a table as a fruit and veg shop. I had lots of real fruit and vegetables on the table. Before starting the comhrá I held up each fruit/veg and got the children to tell me the name as gaeilge. I then picked children ( the best at Irish) to come up and do the comhrá. I did this with 4th, 5th and 6th. I let three groups have a turn and then we moved on. Next I did a listening activity with 4th and 5th while 6th worked independently on a written task I had prepared in advance with them. I used a listening activity from Sin E but I didn’t have the book in sight, I photocopied the pages instead! I then did reading with 4th and 5th from a power-point I made, it was taken word for word from Sin E, I just changed the format to incorporate ICT.
4. I finished up the lesson with a song from the book ‘Mo Cheol Thú’ and that was it!
5. I had practiced this lesson the day before with the class so they knew exactly what to do. I don ‘t know if that is recommended or not but it worked for me. I had a very picky inspector and she couldn’t fault the lesson. She did say I needed to speak in a much louder voice however so bare that in mind! I was lucky because the class teacher sat in the day before my visit to act as an inspector and she told me what I needed to work on.
6. If you are being inspected in Irish, include a poem or a song, a dramaí, lots of comhra and something substantial, such as a reading or listening activity. I wouldn’t base a lesson solely on a siopa scene for example. This goes only for the senior classes, thankfully I wasn’t inspected in Irish with the little ones!
7. Inspectors really just want to see a show, so you need to be super enthusiastic, smiling and moving around the classroom at all times. Remember they want to see you TEACH.
8. I know it’s hard when you have so much to do, but try relate the lesson to their interests. Imagine an Irish lesson based on Minecraft, they would be hanging off your every word! The inspector would love it!
9. Differentiate as much as possible, especially if you have a multi-class. I usually had around five lines in my lesson plan stating how I would differentiate, both within the classes and between classes.
10. Have all your resources on display. If you are doing Bia in Irish then have a section on the wall for this, have posters, flashcards, pictures etc. ( if you have room!)
Coming soon..’How to Prepare a Maths Trail..’