Advice about Observation

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by snowflake24, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. snowflake24

    snowflake24 New Member

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    Apr 12, 2018

    I am in need of some advice. I feel like I am not being a good teacher after my last observation. I am really deflated. I am a second year teacher who is trying very hard. When I got my scores on my observation they were in my mail box and the other teachers where in their mail boxes. I could not help myself, I wanted to see how I compared with others. I looked at their observations and was totally discouraged because everyone was higher then me. I have talked with the principal about how to fix what he does not like but he goes against what he tells me from different evaluations. I am very frustrated. Any advice and am I a bad person for looking?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 12, 2018

    You should not have gone in other mailboxes :oops:

    You can only compare you to you.... have you reflected on your admin's write ups? What do you think you can do to improve?
     
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Apr 13, 2018

    Well, since you already spied on other people's paperwork...

    What notes did you see on those who had scored higher?
     
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  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    They weren't concealed in any way? Did the principal just put a paper with a big RED NUMBER on it and then stick it in the mail box? Isn't that supposed to be private?
     
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  7. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Yeah! I was like, wow, mind your business and no protection is not an excuse but... principal, come on!
     
  8. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 13, 2018

    Is it, “Needs improvement” or “Does not meet expectations”?

    Can you ask your P to sit down with you, and give specific examples of areas that were low?
     
  9. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Apr 13, 2018

    Ugh. Evaluations are so ridiculously subjective.
    I had to do two last year, in the fall and then in the late winter/early spring. In my first one, the principal made some suggestions. I put those into play and demonstrated them for my second observation. She then told me I shouldn't be doing that either, but something else entirely. Um....you were the one who told me to do it this way!
    This year she marked me down as below expectations on both observations for student engagement. One was because an autistic student was not participating in a call/response type of small group lesson. The other was because 20 minutes into the lesson, some six year olds got wiggly. Not disruptive, just not sitting perfectly still. Fortunately, she wrote all this on the form, so I'm pretty sure anyone looking at it would just roll their eyes.
    I totally get why you wanted to look at other scores. It's totally natural to want to know if others are being held to the same standard as you. I'm on a temp contract, and I'm certain my P judges the temp teachers more harshly than the ones she can't get rid of. From what people have been saying, every one of her observations has been nerve wracking.
    I don't have advice. I just wanted to say I get where you're coming from.
     
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  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Apr 14, 2018

    Shame on the principal for not keeping those private and you shouldn't be looking at them anyway.

    Do you have a mentor teacher? Or someone in the building that is willing to help & support you? Find a teacher that everyone says is excellent and go watch that person teach. You may need to do this on your prep hour. Then talk with that teacher about what you saw.

    I also think that sometimes principals are told look for specific items, such as technology and if you don't use it during your formal observation you will get marked down for it.
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    We (site admin) have to do district walkthroughs at other sites. When we leave each classroom, we have to debrief. What I think was stellar, another administrator might think was subpar (and vice versa). Moreover, when you're evaluating a teacher you actually know, subjectivity most definitely comes into play: you know the teacher's style, you understand the students s/he has, you're aware of background information that others might not know, etc.
     
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  12. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 17, 2018

    But isn't it true that you have to give some low marks, regardless?

    In my last review, my part time retail supervisor told me I was a perfect 10, but the manager said told her to change some of my scores! Said corporate wouldn't believe it, and I needed something to work on.

    Really?
     
  13. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Apr 17, 2018

    When I first began, my evaluations had much to improve in, and these were valid judgments by the administrator. Teaching is a skill that takes time and actual on the job experience to develop. You are not a bad teacher. A bad teacher never sees room for improvement. Your concern proves that you are an excellent developing teacher. Even when you start obtaining perfect evaluations, a good teacher always seeks to improve. Because we are human, and because scientific understanding of teaching is constantly updating, there is always room for improvement.
     
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  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 17, 2018

    Nope. Dont have to give low scores.
     
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  15. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Apr 17, 2018

    In theory, I imagine supervisors/administers do want to be looking out for those who are dismally failing.

    This may unintentionally get translated as "be sure to give low scores here and there" or "make sure you fire someone every year".

    The former is good management. The second is bad management that's missing the mark.
     
  16. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Apr 17, 2018

    I tend to agree with Obadiah - even those with perfect evals. should always strive to improve. Early in my career, the ratings on my evals meant a lot more to me, but the older I became the less they mattered. In fact, towards the latter half of my career, principals would: fail to show up at the appointed time, fall asleep in the middle of my lesson, and fail to have follow-up conferences with me. I learned not to take it personally.

    I once had the privilege of working in the personnel dept. of a 140-school district - part of my job was to access teachers' personnel files. I noticed that it wasn't uncommon for the worst teachers that I knew to have perfect scores on their evaluations! Perhaps their principals had slept through their observations too! In the overall scheme of things, the relative importance of evaluations probably varies from district to district.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
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  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Apr 17, 2018

    But you’re using a rubric to determine if a teacher is meeting expectations, which is objective. For example, is the class generally engaged? Are students on task? Do students understand the objective of the day’s lesson? Is instruction being differentiated so that the teacher is reaching all learners? Is the teacher following the lesson plan? Is the teacher adequately employing classroom management techniques?

    These all seem like objective questions to me. Subjectivity should have little involvement when teachers are being evaluated, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Apr 17, 2018

    This is outrageous. If you do everything right and as expected, shouldn’t you receive full marks?

    People in the Olympics, for example, have received perfect scores. It’s unlikely, but it’s still within the realm of possibility.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  19. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Apr 17, 2018

    I know y'all probably don't use the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTPs) in private schools; however, that's what most (all?) public schools use here to evaluate teachers. Take a look at the different areas. They be judged pretty subjectively, in my humble opinion.
     
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  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Apr 17, 2018

    My admin use the same standards. They score us using a comprehensive grid and mark down the list as they do their observations and write how I accomplished each. The standards tend to overlap so they check multiple ones at the same time. It doesn’t seem subjective to me. I either accomplish the standard or I don’t. The implementation is either effective or it isn’t. The teacher uses effective teaching techniques or they don’t.
     
  21. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Apr 18, 2018

    You don't see how "The implementation is either effective or it isn’t" could be subjective? Really?
     

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