A Lighter Note

Bayley advises a secondary music NQT on class management At Chiswick Community School in west London, teaching consultant John Bayley observes Patrick Martin’s Year 9 lesson.

Patrick is a newly qualified music teacher. He finds the practical aspects of music difficult to control and is easily distracted by behavioural problems or children going off task.

Bayley films Patrick teaching. Watching the tape, he is struck by the seriousness of Patrick’s approach. He wonders why, when the children seem keen to applaud, Patrick doesn’t encourage this and feels comments like “another reasonably effective performance” should be replaced by something more positive. He also wants Patrick to seek more departmental or pastoral support when he is teaching a troublesome pupil.

Teaching another Year 9 group with Bayley’s advice, Patrick is a different teacher. A visibly more contented and positive class seems to get more out of the practical experience and the lesson flies past. Patrick’s own verdict is conclusive: “I really enjoyed that!”

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