No teaching this week, which was good as it provided me with an opportunity to catch up on various tasks. I’ll admit that I needed this, as I felt quite exhausted lately, however, it did not stop me overthinking everything and trying to work out all the connectivity between the units. I have thought of a follow-up from the exercise microteach session; I could do a session on food, specifically nutrition and looking into the food label guides. This could explore the gobbledygook employed on the labels and how they can be misleading. Something to ponder…


This was another great session as we got to experience and learn from each others micro teach lessons; tonight, four of us, including myself got to present, which was wonderful, as I have been plotting my surprise lesson for a few weeks now. The micro teach lessons were as follows:

Car Tyres: Even though I do not drive or have a license, this was an engaging and balanced lesson. The focus was on deciphering the alpha numeric sequence that is around a tyre.  We got to test the tread on a tyre profile using a depth gauge, learn about different types of tyres and their function in displacing water; however the most shocking aspect was the potential fine and penalty points for having bald tyres. So 3 Points plus £2500 per bald tyre, yikes… So four bald tyres, you can kiss your license goodby and your savings.

Choking: This was a first aid based lesson, where we were taught the basic first aid protocols on dealing with someone who is choking. The lesson was very relevant, as all of us could potentially need to help someone in this situation. So five back slaps between the shoulder blades, followed by five abdominal thrusts. Being a first aider, having this reiterated again was very good, it provided a good refresher point.

Eastern Eyebrow Threading: An enjoyable lesson, where the practical element got all learners engaged in the topic; that was after I volunteered to have a small section of my eyebrows, threaded. Apparently it can be painful, yet comparing it to the sensation of having a full leg wax, it was very negligible. I found the social historical aspect, of this practice to be very interesting; with it dating back 6000 years and being performed on girls as a ‘rite of passage’ to womanhood, it was something you would not know, unless taught.

Exercise: My ‘trick’ lesson worked perfectly; testing the learners memory recall was a great opener, as they all responded and liked the challenge. However, photography was not my plan; the photo I used was from 2007 and it was when I was at my heaviest of 22 stone. So my idea to flip this lesson into an exercise demonstration worked; I made sure that I did not single any one learner out, but instead asked for volunteers to take part in the demonstrations. The feedback I received was good/very good with only ‘timing’ being my area to improve on, I think my 15 minutes turned to about 22.

As pointed out by our lecturer ‘Beverly’, there are some common positive traits developing; the main element, is that all learners are ensuring that there are some clear objectives given at the start of the lesson and that the lesson is interactive, with practical elements and good resources. Having spent the last 13 years in HE, it is trying to step away from ‘Lecture Mode’.

Me, the fat one to the left 😉


A much fuller class tonight, with an overall very good atmosphere with some positive news. As some of the group ‘endured’ an Ofsted observation last week, it was good to hear their experiences of the process. The discussion was good, as it got the group to consider the wider importance and effect, that an inspection has; more specifically who it affects and who has a vested interest. The overall gist of it is, that a positive results potentially leads to more bums on seats, which equals more money. A sign of the times, that education has become a commodity.

There was short Q&A on the difference between a ‘Mentor’ and a ‘Coach’. The result was, that we understood that anyone could become a mentor as this involved ‘Soft Skills’, so the ability to ‘Listen’, ‘Support’ and provide ‘General Advice’ based on experience. A coach, involved guided direction based upon specialism.

We watched an interesting video about feedback and development: Austins Butterfly

This was very educational as the notion of micro critiquing came to mind, I have thought that sometimes I could have potentially overloaded a learner with too much feedback; watching this video and the process employed made me consider providing more bite-sized chunks of advice to my learners.

We observed two more Micro Teaches this afternoon, this process is proving to be an invaluable exercise. After each micro delivery, the group deconstructs the learners lesson and provides constructive criticism based upon a sudo, praise-sandwich approach. We point out the ‘Effective/Strong’ points, then the ‘Non-Effective/Weak’ points and finally points to ‘Develop/Move Forward’. With each micro teach, we as a group can take away the effective points and develop them into our practice, or in the immediate case, can use them in our micro teach; this could lead to the notion that whoever is last, will produce an ‘Outstanding’ lesson.

We were also introduced to using PADLETS as a means to collaborate and contribute to class discussions etc. Looks good…

We each were given our UET6 Essay theme today; the overall heading is  ‘Theories, principles and models of communication’ and my focus is ‘Transactional Analysis Models’.

• Based upon our assigned essay topic, we are to provide a Definition, Description & How it can be used in Education & Training


This session felt a tad peculiar, perhaps it was due to half the class being absent in preparation for an Ofsted inspection (C’est la vie). The overall theme was about the ‘Micro Teach’ and exploring its function within education. Generally, they are applied to consolidate learning, act as a measure for interviews, and it was suggested that certain Ofsted inspections/observations can last for the duration of a typical micro teach of about fifteen minutes. The main purpose of these micro teach sessions, were to share our practices, skills and experience, whilst receiving feedback and developing our approaches for future applications. This was achieved through a detailed and moderately critical feedback session from the peer group.Three learners managed to present, in which the topics were Hopi Ear Candling, Augusto Boal and the structure of human hair. The consensus was that all of us walked away learning something new.

Towards the end, there was not enough time to deliver another micro teach, as the constructive criticism would have overrun; however there was time for me to deliver my presentation on my assigned theorist, Donald Schön. Overall it went well, I presented his reflective cycle, in which I had structured a comparative visual guide between other practitioners. But my focus was on the two stages of reflective practice, ‘On’ and In’. I had already formulated some examples of how I would apply this to my specialism; but applying my ‘wing-it’ approach, I gave an example of how this could be applied to another specialism from the class.


This session was enjoyable, where the starter was a variation of Countdown. We were given the word ‘Differentiation’, where in 30 seconds we had to form as many words as possible from it. This activity was good, as obviously it embedded English into the lesson; word association was mentioned, but more importantly it was understanding what the title word meant. As teachers, we need to ensure that we implement differentiation into our lessons; the practice of this is to modify the lesson and material to accommodate the different learners and their needs with regards to learning styles.

The core of the lesson was for the studetns to present their slideshows on their given theorist. We were shown a variety of theories, all of which as teachers we may be applying to own practice without knowing it. This was helpful, as the examples given of how to embed this into practice was logical. A couple of the theories, have their specific applications, where perhaps we only touch upon them; but generally we adopt a multi-model approach to teaching, learning and assessment.

A topic that was explored was ‘Readability Indexes’, effectively how readable and legible are our materials, handouts etc. So based upon our learners level, we need to ensure that our written language is appropriate. So perhaps throwing in words such as ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ for a Level 2 subject would be inappropriate.  There are established formulas to measure the readability of  text, these are aptly called the SMOG & FOG readability indexes. For me I find the abundance of acronyms in education to be quite irksome; however when I found out what the acronym for SMOG was I did smile: Simple Measure of Gobbledygook.

Towards the end of session we got into pairs and analysed each other’s lesson plans, this was a basic peer assessment task. Helpful for those who need to construct a lesson plan for their Microteach session.

Something interesting; a trip is planned for the 08th November to go to Parliament? could be fun, although not sure about taking the minibus? “ARE WE THERE YET?”

• Prepare a fifteen minute microteach, this is to be accompanied by a lesson plan, where we have to identify the learning models applied.



The overall theme of this session was about how we retain information, more specifically, how to get the information from our short term memory into our long term memory. Well I’m stuffed, my memory centre is like a minefield; easily triggered by random catalysts, which usually just splurts out popular culture factoids and movie quotes. Still, the usual suspects of conditioning techniques were present.

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition, Repetition, Repetition, Repetition, Repetition…..

So, 7 Units to complete the course, four of which are mandatory and the three optional, yet pre chosen. Then there are 8 Observations, 2 of which are conducted by our personal tutor.

The other memory technique was positive reinforcement; which is the application of praise, when a task has been completed to the requirements.
Twix’s were offered towards the end. 😉

This session was good, in that we were given the exact requirements for Unit UET6. This consists of 5 tasks, which we have completed Two already, sweet!

An important element of this session, was how we incorporate Exemplifying British Values (EBV) into our lessons. This is an essential part of current teaching guidelines. There are four main components to EBV, which are:

• Rule of Law (Legislation)
• Democracy
• Individual Liberty
• Mutual Respect & Tolerance

This could be carried out through an opening ‘toolbox’ session where perhaps the students are made aware of current affairs; dependent on the subject matter, this could lead onto a group discussion or a task.

Through the completion of our micro presentations, all learners will get an overall view of various learning models. Some are more pertinent than others, where they may only apply to certain sectors; however, an area such as reflective practice, would be applied across all teaching fields, as the learner would need to reflect upon what they are doing or have done in order to develop and progress.

• Write a lesson plan for our micro teaching session.


First week on the DET and yikes, we were handed all of the material, outlying all of the units, for which there are four Mandatory Units: UET3, UET4, UET6 & UET11; then there are three optional units: UV51238, UET12 & UET15. During out training, we will be observed 8 times, two of which will be by our personal mentors.

The class is a good size, with a broad mix of subject specialisms; there is IT, Business, Hair & Beauty, Building etc. The experience of the group is also broad, with some learners new to teaching and some who have been in education for some years.

We had some good starter exercises, where we organised ourselves based upon experience then confidence. Another exercise was to write down roles and responsibilities of other people that we as educators may come into contact with, either on a daily basis or from time to time.

• Create a short three page Slide-Show on our given teaching theorist

• Bring in an example of a Scheme of Work
• Bring in an example of a Lesson Plan