Friday, 4 May 2007


Last week was our department's yearly observation week. I could have got out of it because of my 'personal problems' but not wanting special treatment, I went for it. Silly me. I spent most of my days off and the previous weekend sitting at my computer perfecting lesson plans, scheme of work, differentiation plans, handouts and worksheets, which were all printed off in perfect colour on my printer. My stress levels soared. We are not told which class the observer is going to come in to. The uncertainly creates mega tension. Phillip, the observer assigned to me, is reported to have said that he's never given anyone a grade 1. Whether this is some kind of macho thing or perhaps he's never seen a grade 1 lesson I don't know. It is off putting.

It got to Wednesday, my last teaching day, and Phillip, hadn't appeared. I was therefore convinced he would come to my evening 6-9.00pm group. I was well prepared and totally hyped up. I'd phoned all the students to be early. I was wearing cool, comfortable, smart and attractive, confidence boosting clothes. I'd single-handedly dragged in an extra table, telling my manager to pretend she'd not seen me, as she started muttering about Health and Safety. I had all my handouts and activities placed carefully in order on the desk, together with coloured wipe board pens and flip chart markers. Adrenalin was racing through my veins.

He didn't turn up.

That I was furious, after all my hard work, is an understatement. The good news however is - if your observer doesn't turn up, you can keep the grade you got last year, which was a grade 1. The guy who never gives grade 1s, inadvertently gave me a grade 1 - thanks Phillip.

Copyright © 2007 Barbara Attwood

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