The people in my group were Erica, this lovely cuddly boy called Alan, myself and then this very odd man I have discussed a couple of times over the years of my education course - Marcel. Now, Marcel is a character. He likes to blather on in odd tangents and raise strange points in discussions, and he does it all in this awful fawning, pseudo-shy way which, at different points, drives me insane or makes me laugh my head off. I've always known he was a character and accepted it. But now I kind of hate him, and he has my home phone number and ugh. He did no work towards this project. His lessons were so poor I had to rewrite them or there was every chance we'd fail.
When you write a lesson plan, you're doing so not only to clarify things in your mind, but for the eventuality that a relief/substitute teacher might have to do the lesson, yes? As a beginning teacher, the type of detail expected is intense - literally things like "assemble students on the floor and gain their attention by using a series of claps". Obviously, when you're on the job, you don't do a written lesson plan for every lesson because there isn't enough time in the world, but at University, when given a task like a Unit Plan, you're expected to write these lessons in minute detail. Let me give you some of Marcel's lesson, before I rewrote it;
- Introduction of story, going through features of the front & cover pages.
- Page by page reading of the story.
- Brief discussion recounting story, followed by explanation of the task. Students to choose an aspect of the story and do a drawing about it.
- Students begin drawing to completion.
- Students bring up completed work for looking at and gluing into their Health exercise books. After which, students to sit on carpet and do drawing on chalk boards until called in for next lesson.
Actually, that was the whole lesson. Now, as notes for yourself as an experienced teacher of a class you know well, okay, this is fine. In this context - it really is not. If I were a relief teacher given this, I would be completely agog with fear and terror. I'd probably scrap it and do something completely different. How the hell did this guy get to this level of the course by doing nothing?! Probably because other people stuck doing group work with him found themselves in the same situation, that's how.
Marcel only turned up to one of our group meetings (there were three.) I emailed him to tell him when they were happening. I even braved the telephone to call him about it. Erica was brilliant - her lessons were well structured and she provided a lot of resources. Okay, so I might be a little biased because, as you all know, I'm madly in love with her, but she really put effort into it. Alan was fantastic too - his lessons were detailed and clever, he had great ideas and he was very helpful (I admit, part of me is in love with him too because he's shy and a total teddybear and he pings my "cute!" button - and of course, he's of the opposite sex, so the love is a lot less platonic, hah.) I've clearly put the effort in, writing my own two lessons and putting it all together - linking it to the curriculum, etc.
There's no actual point to this post - I'm just really pissed off. But the good news? I never have to do another University group project ever again.