Sunday, 18 September 2011

Thank God that's over!

BLOODY HELL! This week was most certainly worse than the first week!

I did think the first week back was bad enough, but nothing, NOTHING can beat this week. No way. The ASSHOLES that are otherwise known as OFSTED decided to pay us a visit. What on earth are they thinking? We had been back 5 days when that dreaded phone call came on Monday morning... 48 hours notice before they descended on us.

Get through that hoop Miss Teacher!
Certainly Sir, how many times?
If you are a teacher, you will know that this word puts the fear of God into you. You lose all touch with the outside world, your nearest and dearest are blurs that place food in front of you and tell you that you need to eat and sleep. You spend every moment possible at work, then spend every moment possible when you get home, going through spreadhseets and analyses. When the coffee, red bull and adrenaline becomes no match for sleep, you start seeing spreadsheets whirling around when you close your eyes.

I am a bloody good teacher! I know I am. My results show I am. My students tell me I am. My leadership team tell me I am. I don't need people who clearly aren't good enough to teach anymore telling me any of this!

There are several things you MUST do when OFSTED turn up...

1. Mark your books.
There is a two week marking policy. We hadn't even been back at school for two weeks, but we had to mark all our books. Now, normally one would stagger the marking so you don't have  to mark 120 + books in two nights! That's just bloody ridiculous! BUT.... we all did it.

This is REAL!
This was one, JUST ONE, class set of books to mark!

2. Have an up to date OFSTED evidence file.
If you are a middle manager with responsibility you should have one of these. And, to be fair, I did have a few things. They needed printing out. They needed updating. But I had them SOMEWHERE. But, I did not have it all. Niether did any other middle manager.

OFSTED file on Wednesday morning...
OFSTED file on Monday morning...

3. Have an ultra detailed lesson plan for every lesson.
That was 9 lessons in two days for me. Do they EVEN know how long that takes?! I normally plan my lessons, scribble in my planner what I'm doing and order the equipment for any practicals. I DO NOT spend an hour, writing down every thing I am going to do and say, with timings. I do not write a list of resources I am using. I do not write what diffentiation is taking place. I do not write down the needs of every child in my class. I ALREADY KNOW THIS. It is in my planner if I need to refer to it. It is pointless. But, again it got done.

4. Choose your outfit WISELY.
Now the likelihood that there will be a male OFSTED inspector is pretty high. Last time I encountered OFSTED I naively (I was an NQT) asked the male inspector that had observed my lesson if there was anything I could do to make him give me an 'Excellent' instead of 'very good'. (Not bad for an NQT that had been teaching for all of one term!) I'm pretty sure that if I had been wearing suitably persuasive clothing, I might have been in with a chance. Soooo.....this time, I was prepared!

Apparently (under the new OFSTED framework) I am 'Good' with 'Outstanding' features!
OH YES! That IS really what I got told!
Can't see it myself, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

5. Bribe your students.
Perhaps a little un-ethical for some of you, but a necessity for teachers. Without this technique there would be so many more 'unsatisfactory' schools, I'm sure of it. Chocolate works a treat. Hmmm... Healthy schools? Well, yes, we do have a 'healthy schools' award, but I am CHOOSING to teach my students that they all have a CHOICE. The choice is always chocolate!
Remember him?!

Anyway, we managed to get through those few days, and guess what? WE GOT CAKE AGAIN, on Friday. We also got wine and beer to go with the cake. I could SO get used to this cake thing. The Deputy Head even poured my glass of wine for me, which did make me think briefly, of my naked imaginary waiter.

I got to the cake slightly earlier than last time.

Basically, if you follow these five MUSTs when OFSTED come knocking, then you'll be laughing.
If not, then you'll be crying like the rest of us.

I don't think I am going to comment about next week. I'm too scared! The one thing I am looking forward to though, is the fire alarm. Monday at 10.30am apparently. A practice for the new little year 7's and a reminder for the rest of us. This is ALWAYS a day to look forward to. Those lovely fully equiped firemen turning up to school... Mmmm. And half a lesson less to teach! Fantastic.


  1. I wasn't teaching when our equivalent showed up for nearly a term.

    And, although I am a first year teacher, even I can't plan lessons out in that much detail because they will never go that way. Some little darling will ask a question about something totally random and there goes the rest of the lesson.

    I hope things get better. :)

  2. Glad you got that week out the way, sounds rough, onwards and upwards from now on

  3. @JayJay... Exactly! I just love the little darlings!

    @Anonymous... I'm pretty glad I've got it out the way too. Onwards, yes. Upwards, hmmm...

  4. my mum is a teacher and she goes through a long list of to-do's when the audit comes to school....

    How have you been? I like the new look of the blog <3 How are your injuries now? Hope you have recovered....

  5. That OFSTED sounds like a pain in the ass. With that being said, if i have hot teachers, beer wine cake and stuff like that, i might consider going back to school hahaha i'm still not fond of the waiter though.

  6. I personally think that the politicians that put standards checkers in place should be subjected to them. In my experience its 90% checking to see if you dotted your I and crossed your T and very little of substance is found. The nightmare of my internship in the state of Kentucky convinced me of this years ago.
    +followed for being a fellow teacher

  7. Back when I was a student, we were really close with our teacher so she didn't have to bribe us to do good when an inspector is around.

    Nice blog, +followed.

  8. 01110100 01100101 01100001 01100011 01101000 01100101 01110010 01110011 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01110011 01100101 01111000 01111001 00101100 00100000 01101100 01101001 01101011 01100101 00100000 01100011 01100001 01110100 00100000 01110000 01100101 01101111 01110000 01101100 01100101 00101110 00100000 01110010 01100001 01100111 01100101 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100110 01101001 01110010 01100101 00101110 00100000 01101000 01100001 01101001 01101100 00100000 01100010 01110101 01100010 01100010 01100001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101100 01100001

  9. Yea, my mum must have a gazillion folders with detailed lesson plan. Well not that my mother is in any form or shape old *cough* but I think if they come knocking she just takes some old plans and readjusts a few little things. So maybe a few little perks when getting older?

  10. I like the pictures you post in, my mom is a teacher too, I'm going to follow this :).

  11. Gah, you teachers have to jump through too many damn hoops. My fiance teaches too, and I feel bad for all the crap that inspections bring. Best of luck with those gents in the fire brigade;)

  12. @Chintan... I'm doing a lot better, thanks. I have recovered from my injuries now.
    @ Plumber... Errr... I am a hot teacher, I have cake, beer and wine... Where are you? And leave my waiter alone!
    @Aamedor... Thanks for visiting & following. It's was a good job I did cross all my T's and dot all my I's.
    @Lord Phrozen... my classes didn't need any bribing this time to be honest, but you never know. Thanks for visiting & following.
    @Eris... 01010100 01100101 01100001 01100011 01101000 01100101 01110010 01110011 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01110110 01100101 01110010 01111001 00100000 01110011 01100101 01111000 01111001 00100001 00100000 01001110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101111 01101111 00100000 01110011 01110101 01110010 01100101 00100000 01100001 01100010 01101111 01110101 01110100 00100000 01100011 01100001 01110100 00100000 01110000 01100101 01101111 01110000 01101100 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101111 01110101 01100111 01101000 00101110 00100000 01010100 01101000 01100001 01101110 01101011 01110011 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01110110 01101001 01110011 01101001 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00101110
    @PTR... The courses have changed so much over the last 10 years, I couldn't dig out my old lesson plans. Much to my disappointment.
    @Neatfit... Glad you approve of the pictures. Thanks for following
    @ABFTS... Those firemen were definitely worth waiting for. I may set the fire alarm off tomorrow. Just by accident of course.