Well, I finally got my results back from my first LSA and, it’s a bit mixed. I had chosen a tricky topic that I wouldn’t advice people do the same but I also made some very silly mistakes that could have been easily avoided. So the end result is that I passed the teaching but I failed the background essay, which I probably would have guessed after the lesson.
Skills aren’t a great first choice
I got some advice from my online tutor that a systems is usually a better choice to start module two but I had already started writing my essay on helping students read a particular genre of text. This was a mistake. I found it incredibly difficult to define the genre (it wasn’t as clear as a letter) and then I had to comment on issue with that particular genre (which I failed to do specifically enough) and due to that, my teaching suggestions weren’t appropriate either.
I spent a heck of a lot of time writing this and working on this essay, to realise that I had been going wrong pretty much the whole time was very demotivating. It didn’t help that I had submitted my draft and then thought I followed the tutors guidelines only to find out I hadn’t. My tutor checked if I had submitted my final version or a final draft when I uploaded. Showing I could have submitted another draft and potentially avoided those issue. Though if he’d told me I needed to change things, I probably wouldn’t have had time.
On top of that, I didn’t really do a great language analysis section in my lesson plan based on the skills I described. I found a sample of a language analysis for a skills lesson about an hour before my lesson and by that point it was too late to really change, I needed to get my materials in order.
Minor issues didn’t take my lesson
After my lesson I could only really think of the negatives, but my feedback was very positive in the key areas. This was something that I started to reflect on during the post lesson evaluation. I realised that I had achieved my lesson aims (more or less) and that not handling an error correction in the best way one time or not pre-teaching a word which the students turned out to know anyway didn’t matter. However…
Check the word limits
I checked and checked but must have missed the note where it said the lesson commentary could only be 500-750 words. As such I went off on a near 1500 essay defending the lesson plan and explaining certain aspects and activities. This meant it was a failure. Honestly, I almost didn’t include a commentary as I hadn’t realised I needed one thanks to my lesson plan draft not including one.
I’d really recommend going back to the DELTA handbook before you decided to submit something as you know that will including the points you will be marked or penalised on.
I’ve been working on my LSA two this week, I have much less time between my next LSAs (as we have our final week before LSA three off work here) and so I’ve felt pretty stressed to get everything ready and done in time. I pretty determined to nail this background essay. I’m doing it on Modal verbs of obligation and permission this time, much nicer. I submitted my first draft yesterday so I expect to get some notes back mid week and start editing that.
By the way, my approach to a first draft is a very rough outline that shows the direction I’m going in not a final submittable piece which my tutor seemed to expect last time. When I uploaded my draft this time I commented that my intent was to get something over to him so he could help redirect my focus. I’m also hopefully going to submit a second draft this time which should be submittable, but I’m checking with my tutor if that’s possible.
A little tool
One of the issues I ran into was making a copy of my lesson plan and then having to flick through a tone of pages to find my CCQ, check my phonemic script and follow the lesson plan. So I created a simplified lesson plan template for myself to use. It has a short layout with the top designed for the topic of the lesson and aim (it’s always good to keep that in mind), then a section for the lesson procedure (a brief description of what section. i.e first reading for gist) with a part for time, important notes (i.e. don’t forget to pair George and Fred) and a check box so you can tick as you go along. Then at the bottom there are some sections for ccqs, phonemic script and any other data that you feel is important to remember. You can download it from Gumroad for free and adapt it as you like.