I was speaking to colleagues about teaching practice inspectors and it got me thinking …

On my first teaching practice I had an elderly external examiner for my inspector and she was very strict and not really up to date with current best practice. I had 2nd class in a DEIS school. The inspector arrived and sat down the back with a stern face, she then walked around the class towering above the tiny children. At the end of the observation, the inspector commented there are a lot of children fidgeting – this is something you need to work on. You should bring in some rope to tie their hands together to stop this. I was horrified and couldn’t quite believe my ears.
On an infant teaching practice, I had an art lecturer who had never worked as a teacher and therefore was so far removed from what was required/ good practice.

Sometimes I wonder about the calibre of inspectors out there. I have had some great experiences with inspectors who helped me hugely and then some who shouldn’t be inspectors. I firmly believe that only experienced teachers should be inspectors. If a teacher retires, he/she should be required to do further CPD to keep up with the changes in education so they can give accurate and constructive feedback to students.

If you feel your supervisor is being unfair/ not giving sound advice

  • Ask for a second opinion – speak to the class teacher, contact the college and ask for a float/external examiner if you feel you are not being judged fairly/accurately by your supervisor
  • Speak to the inspector – if your inspector criticises you for something that you really disagree with – talk to them, explain your reasoning behind it and why you chose to do it in a certain way.
  • Ask for help – feel free to PM me with any questions/ queries (I’d be delighted to help), talk to friends,

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