Come on, most interview panels will let you pick a topic or subject from a wide range of choices; if they haven't told you up front what exam board they use, get on the phone and ask. This is a twenty minute, pull out all the stops, show-'em-what- you've-got opportunity.
And then produce, at the very least, a good Powerpoint presention, handout/worksheet or activity. Make absolutely sure you have a good extension activity even if you are pretty sure you won't have time to use it. If you can't be bothered to make an effort for this, what does it say about your contribution to the life of the school/college? You have a short amount of time to showcase your skills and also to model your priorities.
One applicant took up half her allotted time going through her 'classroom rules.' These included 'don't surf the Internet when you should be working'. Another applicant had an error in the maths on her handout which had to be pointed out to her by one of the students.
And finally, the most astounding sample lesson I have ever seen went like this.
Prepare a lesson which will serve either as a revision of a familiar topic or as an introduction for the first time. Make sure that any questions you are planning to ask have follow on questions that probe more deeply if the students can glibly rattle off the answers.
Make sure all your activities are that little bit special, so that even if they have bashed through the subject before, you are giving them an interesting new take on the topic. A matching exercise with challenging distractors instead of a simple fill-in-the-blanks.'Please write your names on the cards and put them in front of you.'After spending 3 minutes doing this, he taught for 20 minutes and never once referred to any of the students by name.
True, I have seen some very good examples and am in fact working with brilliant colleagues who taught those very lessons.
But surely a half-decent teacher training institution should cover this?
If that sounds like way too much to cope with in the time you have, you are probably being much too ambitious in the material you hope to cover.
As recruiting teachers, we sometimes feel a wave of whinging and wimpering coming off a candidate at the whole prospect of the lesson..what you are doing is highly unrealistic. Think about what we OK, you've never taught these kids in this room before, but you should look comfortable standing up and taking centre stage with a group of young people.
We are not looking for a text-book OFTSED lesson plan with all the boxes ticked. You should be able to capture attention and keep it, and you should show warmth towards, and interest in the kids you're faced with.(I don't actually need twenty minutes to see this - it's almost immediately recognisable.)2) I expect you to have worked up a pretty impressive 20 minutes worth of stuff.
notice if you are pitching the lesson at the wrong age group.
If you are a secondary trained teacher applying for an advanced level job, you are in a difficult position but it's not impossible to get it right.
As I have now been blogging for over four months, I have delusions of significance...