This reminds me of work-ups during my naval career. Long stressful days where ‘evolutions’ were thrown at the ship, simulated attacks to disaster relief. Sea-riders (inspection staff) crawled over every aspect of the ship’s life and like ofsted many a career stalled on a poor assessment a recent news article highlights the potential stigma of a poor ofsted.
I worked in a school recently which had an inspection by its academy managers. Although not an ofsted, it had all the ingredients. Weeks of increasing pressure, management reiterating policies, updating an ever expanding data stream, meetings and briefings and pigeon holes full of demands and information that MUST be read.
After a disturbed night mulling over lesson plans, the day arrived. Observations, book-looks, data analysis, eyes everywhere. The palpable relief at being assessed good or outstanding contrasting with the despair of ‘requires improvement!’ A confident, well motivated and caring teacher can be destroyed in an instant. Since statutory regulations changed in 2012 an internet search for guidance on observations will turn up a variety of differing views.
Guidance from ofsted updated in January of this year says ‘Ofsted does not award a grade for the quality of teaching or outcomes in the individual lessons visited. It does not grade individual lessons. It does not expect schools to use the Ofsted evaluation schedule to grade teaching or individual lessons’. I wonder how many teachers or members of the SLT are actually aware of this.
Ofsted is a fleeting visit. Yet the consequences of that visit to staff, children, parents and indeed the local community can be immense.
Good teachers don’t suddenly become bad teachers on the strength of a single observation. Teachers need to believe in themselves, their expertise, knowledge and skills. These qualities don’t suddenly evaporate, yet once categorised as ‘requires improvement’ self doubt can take over. This is where hypnosis can help.
If you have lost confidence after a difficult observation, are worried by one coming up or you are in a school where the ‘phone call’ is expected any time, then give me a call and see how I can help. By gaining control of those self doubts, boosting self esteem and focussing on those great skills you have as a teacher, you can survive!