So, I made them look like she wanted, and now the format is changed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by tchr4vr, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Nov 27, 2018

    So, about two weeks ago I had posted that my P wanted my lesson plans to look differently than they did. Blah, blah, blah. I basically reached out to my colleagues who teach the same content as me in other buildings to ask for suggestions, thinking perhaps a fresh set of eyes would give me perspective. Again, I teach Dual Enrollment and AP, so what I teach does not necessarily correlate with what other English teacher are doing.

    First, I found out that I am the only DE/AP English teacher in my district (there are 4 high schools, and about ten of us) who is required to turn in daily lessons plans for those courses. Also, I found out my school is the only one who is being required to turn in lesson plans a week in advance.

    Despite that, I reworked them, and tried to stay positive and look at them differently. I wasn't worth getting myself permanently stressed out over.

    So today, dept. meeting. New lesson plan format. More complicated. 2 major changes that don't work for me:

    1) Required content standards (although we have standards, they are not broken down like 11.1, 11.2, etc. They are "The student will write college level essays on a variety of topics"

    2) Required to have scripted questions. In general, I don't use scripted questions, because many of my classes are discussion based--they are lead by the points the students want to bring out about the reading. I do have some key items that I want to discuss, but it's never set in stone.

    Spoke to my admin about my concerns. Her answer. The standards you have are not specific enough(these are the standards provided by the community college and by College Board) I need to make them more specific. Fine, I can, just more unnecessary work that doesn't help me or the students.

    In terms of scripted questions--"You must have them. It is a requirement. If we are observing you and you don't use scripted questions, it will effect your evaluation" What if we're doing a class discussion, i.e. Socratic Seminar, where the students have created the questions and I am simply on the side, monitoring and possibly guiding if necessary. "Don't you ever ask questions during a Socratic Seminar?" "Not unless the conversation stops and the students are stuck." "Put those questions." "Ok, but what if I don't ask them." "That will effect your evaluation."

    I actually left the building for 20 minutes so I wouldn't say something stupid and sat in my car with my music blasting.

    Again, what do they expect me to do? Write lesson plans for them, then do my thing, except when they come in, so my evaluation is what they want to see?

    Today was one of those days when I really thought about changing careers. I was very tempted to drive out of the parking lot and say "F*** it", but I stayed, for the kids.

    My 3rd block had a fantastic Socratic Seminar today, so that helped a lot--and guess what? I didn't have to say a thing. Good thing they weren't there to evaluate, because I would have failed since I didn't have any scripted questions and I wouldn't have been able to use them if I had.
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Nov 27, 2018

    :yeahthat:

    This is my 26th year in the same district. I don't know that I've ever gone more than 2-3 years with the same lesson plan format. Or requirements for turning it in. Or requirements for posting it online. Or requirements for one thing or the other. Most of the time it is a PITA, but just do it anyway . . . and then do what you need to do to teach your class.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Nov 27, 2018

    Can you script one question that you use to start the discussion? If admin doesn’t see the start of the discussion, you just tell them you asked it before they arrived. We have to have scripted questions in our plans too, so I just put something in the plan and teach naturally. I’ve never seen admin look at my plan while observing, so they would have no idea if I actually asked it or not.
     
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  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Nov 27, 2018

    Are you going to retire at the end of year 30? :)
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Not sure. We have looked at retiring at age 55 vs. 30 years vs. 27 years. Financially we would like to go until 55, but we’ve been kicking around the idea of going out at 27.
     
  7. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Nov 28, 2018

    I think what bothers me more about this is not so much the lesson plans--it is, but that is just something I have to deal with. What bothers me is that for whatever reason, my school has been targeted as the "failing" school, even though our data says otherwise. And our P is the one trying to get into the central office, so she is trying to prove how good she is at her job, so it all trickles down to us. And when we ask "Is this going on at other schools?", they patently lie and say it is, when we all know it's not--we all have friends at the other schools, and they tell us what is or is not going on. We collobarate quite often, so we know what's going on in the other schools. We're all hoping she'll be gone after this year and we can start over--maybe with someone not intent on the central office.
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Nov 28, 2018

    Why has your school been labeled failing? How does its test scores compare to other similar schools in the district? And remember, data can be skewed to cast a school in a positive light; for example, lumping the students who met state benchmarks in with students who are approaching the benchmark and then, voila, test scores go “up.”
     
  9. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 28, 2018

    I hope you'll hang in there! The classroom you describe is desperately needed in our country! You are developing the ability to think critically and creatively. Just have some scripted questions ready in case someone comes in to evaluate. Do you get to know ahead of time when you are being evaluated? To quote a friend in leadership - "Just tell them 'Good point!' Then go do what you had planned."
     

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