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  #1  
Old 11-18-2012, 10:41 AM
geegee1981 geegee1981 is offline
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Midwest USA
Special Education Teacher
Teacher evaluations? Im pretty scared about it.

Hello, I’m a first year special education teacher with an 8th grade cross-category, self contained classroom in an urban community. I have a child that is emotionally disturbed, a child with a mental illness, an extremely hyper and impulsive student with ADHD, a child with moderate Autism, 2 children with behavior problems, and a student with a reading and math disability. I have 3 resource students that have learning disabilities as well.

So my class is often chaotic and it has its ups and downs. I have developed the children’s trust, but they still are often off task, tardy, or misbehaving, even though the students have respect for me.…. They still misbehave. The school does not have a dean, so the students never had many consequences. They don’t seem to have fear of anything.

Honestly, it’s hard to teach in this type of environment. I have a hard time explaining stuff, and my mind often goes blank in there. I give the students work, and try my hardest to keep them busy.

Every day is a struggle…. I have a male paraprofessional, and this is his first time working in a school except for his sub experience. He isnt much help, but he is a nice person. Im a petite, very young looking 31 year old. My parapro is a big man in his 40's. The principal hired him in september hoping that he would be a good influence on the boys.....but he is acting more like a mentor, and not my assistant.

My evaluation is coming up. How can I do well on my teacher evaluations? Im pretty scared about it.

I need some advice and help please.
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2012, 10:57 AM
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mopar mopar is offline
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Your principal shouldn't be looking for everything to be perfect. He should understand that students with this level of behavior will struggle with learning and following routines. What he wants to see if how you handle the challenges of your classroom, how you break down lessons for your students, how you are differentiating and managing behaviors.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2012, 11:42 AM
teacher girl teacher girl is offline
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Virginia
Special Education Teacher
your principal was once a teacher too. So she should feel some sympathy towards you. If you feel that insecure about it, you should meet with her before your evaluation and tell her how you are feeling. So that when she walks into the classroom, it's not a surprise to her. If she sees anything. Meet with her and ask her tips, or things that she will be looking for in the evaluation and explain your situation. And try to accomodate those things when she comes.

Meet with her and tell her that your worried about your evaluation, and if she could offer any tips or anything that sheis specifically looking for.
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2012, 11:45 AM
EdEd EdEd is offline
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I agree - if your principal is fair, s/he won't be expecting perfection. However, in terms of "doing your best" on evaluations, I think it comes to "doing your best" in the classroom, so I don't know that focusing on the evaluation would help anymore than focusing on your performance.

It definitely sounds like there are a number of challenges, and without us being there, it's hard to tell exactly what's contributing to the behavior - could be all individual issues, some group dynamic that's occurring, etc.

I'd first start on "auditing" your group management plan. If you find that a number of kids are exhibiting similar behaviors, you may have a weakness in your classroom management system. If you find that all of the kids are exhibiting very different behaviors, and there is strong evidence that each of the kids has issues that are contributing to those behaviors individually, your group plan may be fine, but you need to focus on individual interventions. Or a combination.

So, I'd start by asking: What's your own assessment of your group management plan - not just is it working, but how is it working or not working? What have you tweaked and found to work better or worse?
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2012, 12:31 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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Has your principal been in your room yet? If not, I have a problem with that.

Either way, just understand that most administrators do not use evalutions as a "got ya" tool. They are looking for ways to help...not cut you down.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2012, 12:37 PM
geegee1981 geegee1981 is offline
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Midwest USA
Special Education Teacher
My behavior plan is improving.

My school participates in Positive behavior interventions (PBIS). The kids receive coupons when they behave well, but my kids don’t care about raffles and school wide rewards. Instead, I let them by snacks and mechanical pencils with their PBIS money…..my weirdo’s love pencils lol. When the students finish their assignments each period, I allow them to use the computer to play games. This definitely motivates them. If the students misbehave they don’t get snacks or computer time.
I keep behavior charts. I document everything. The IEP’s are very vague and similar.
The students receive 2 minor warnings when they are misbehaving. They receive a major referral for the 3rd offense and it is sent to the office. Honestly, the assistant principal does not give the students consequences, and she often ignores the referrals. The assistant principal seems to have an inappropriate relationship with the biggest trouble maker, so he never gets into trouble. She adores this child. So writing referrals is not effective. The principal doesn’t care much either. If the kids do receive a detention or suspension, they love it! Free day! The kids only seem to get suspended for fighting.
I call the students parents a lot, but this is not effective. I have a good rapport with the parents (even the drug addict), but they don’t know what to do with the kids. So that doesn’t work.
My 3 biggest issues are ……I have a student that is emotionally disturbed and about 4’8. He is a great fighter, and many special and regular ed students are scared of him. His mother is a drug addicted, there is no father, and the 15 year old sister is 9 months pregnant….. When this student is having a bad day…we all have a bad day. He gets defiant and argumentative, but s behavior is improving with me. He knows me know, so he’s becoming sweet. But he still goes through his mood swings.
My 6’2 student with adhd is a super happy child that does crazy things like he hide under desks, jumps off the top of lockers, touches girls, licks walls, etc….he’s popular with the regular ed kids. It’s hard to keep him settled and focused. He doesn’t take his medication on a regular schedule during the weekend. He’s always all over the place. He works when he’s focused.
I have a mentally ill child in the class that hears voices and see’s things….he talks to himself, hits the air, walks around class, walks the hallways and comes to class late….he’s nuts. He never does schoolwork.

I can say that the majority of my students are boys, and they try their best to respect me personally….A few have crushes on me so they don’t want to make me mad lol. But they are still a handful.

Every day is different though…..I never know what to expect. Some days are good....others are bad.

Yes, the principal has been in in my classroom about 3 times. She knows my students well.
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2012, 12:45 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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Kindergarten Teacher
It really sounds like you have a good handle on your students and the principal is aware of the needs of the students.

Take a deep breath and know that she is not expecting the students to behave perfectly. She is looking for how you react to the situations that arise.
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2012, 12:51 PM
geegee1981 geegee1981 is offline
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Midwest USA
Special Education Teacher
In my classroom, sometimes I feel more like a prison guard instead of a teacher. If turn my back, the classroom falls apart. Instructing the class is very difficult in this room because of the student’s inattention, behavior problems, etc. Nothing ever goes smoothly. During my evaluation, what if the classroom falls apart!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ?????

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the job for the most part. My students and I talk regularly…they tell me about their lives and I tell them stuff too. I’m 31, but young looking so they relate to me. I know the hip hop slang and all the cool stuff. I’m energetic, firm, sarcastic, and sweet all wrapped up in a little package. Im far from perfect...So I don’t pretend to be perfect around the students. I’m just a real person. Many teachers seem so perfect...I thrive to be like that....oneday.

My teaching is about 4 out of 10….I’m not a great teacher at all. I have a hard time explaining stuff in there….My mind goes blank during the chaos.

I just struggle though……. I don’t really fit into the school organization. The majority of the teachers have been their 15 to 20 years, and they were not welcoming to me. There are about 4 younger teachers in the building, and I’m friends with 1 of them. I feel that I will be better somewhere else though.
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2012, 12:54 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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During the normal day (not an evaluation), what would you do if your classroom falls apart?
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2012, 12:58 PM
geegee1981 geegee1981 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Midwest USA
Special Education Teacher
If my class fell apart...I would address the problem...then I would move on to the next activity. Sometimes the lesson is destroyed, but i just move on and teach the next lesson or activity.
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