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Discussion in 'General Education' started by silverspoon65, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    So I was teaching today, the students were reading a novel out loud and doing a during reading strategy. I looked up at one point and noticed the principal sitting there! I have NO IDEA how long she was there, but she is really sneaky! I asked the kids after she left and one kid said she had been there for half an hour! I can't believe I never saw her.

    We were doing a really good activity, but I had that momentary panic... did I say anything wrong? did I let a kid get away with something they shouldn't have done? I teach my class like there is another adult in the room, anyway, so its funny that I immediately worry about what I did.

    I think observers should sort of come up to you and say, "Hi, I am just stopping in to see whats going on."
     
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  3. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    Now see, I don't. You should be teaching every class as if it could be observed, and I think it is a true test of teaching ability, as well as a better assessment, when the teacher does not know ahead of time that they are being observed.
     
  4. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I guess I kind of agree. I don't really have a problem with it. Even though I panicked for a sec., I know I was doing a great job with my kids this afternoon.
     
  5. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    Ha ha, this is going to sound weird, but I have a code word with my students for just that situation - but mine is for anyone entering the room. If someone comes in, the students say "carbohydrates." They get a kick out of it, and I perk up whenever I hear it. It just shows me that EVERYONE is paying attention.
     
  6. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    I usually keep my door closed, this way I can hear it open and shut (as they walk in...the dorrs need to be proped open). This way I know if someone walks in ...or walks out!
     
  7. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    The exact same thing happened to me last week! I was teaching my 3rd grade class -- we were having a very engrossing discussion of the reading selection as we round robin read it, and about half-way through it, I looked up, and there was my college student teaching supervisor, picking through the papers on my desk! :eek: Since I was hip-deep in the discussion, I just kept going, remembering (luckily) to finish the discussion with a short summing up activity, then got the kids lined up for enrichment. My cooperating teacher was out sick that day, and I had a sub who was "supervising" me, but she was sitting at my cooperating teacher's desk, asleep! :yawn:

    You know, I think I like it better when I don't know they are there. That way, I don't feel like I need to drag out a dog-and-pony show, and they get a realistic picture of how I am managing/teaching the class. Just my :2cents:.
     
  8. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    You think that's bad... I'm trying to teach my kids about following directions, so we played "Simon Says." I was giving more complex directions, like "If you have an E in your name, jump three times." Then, the winner got to be "it" for a fun quickie round before I went on. I joined the game, makes it more fun for the kids. So Simon Says skip around the room and say [nonsense word]. Not too bad. So I did.... as the principal walked in behind my back... he didn't say anything, but I wonder what he thought :eek:

    If I have to be supervised, I'd rather not know, though -- I freeze up when I'm being watched. Somehow I don't have this stage fright with the kids. However, if I don't know about it, it had better not be "one of those days"...
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Oh, I know. My cooperating teacher and I had been asking the elementary coordinator to come observe me teaching for weeks. When does she decide to come? On Friday (mostly tests), the last day of school before the Thanksgiving break. Not only that, but we were giving the kids a break between tests, and they were coloring silly looking turkeys! Aaarrgghh!
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I know, I told my students next time someone comes in would someone please loudly say "Hi, Ms. XYZ" so I know whats going on.
     
  11. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Oh yeah, my door WAS closed, too. I think she came in when someone left for the bathroom though.
     
  12. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    I was fluency testing today when one of the assistant principals came in. She came in, sat down at the desk of one of my kids (I had the kids scattered around the room working on about 4 or 5 different things and would just call them as I needed them). One of my kids said (Ms. J is here... very loudly to one of the groups, think she was trying to tell those that were totally on task to get with it) I said ... that's not a problem A, corrected a student that wasn't doing what I had told him, and went back to discussing the results of the kid that I testing with him, and then called the next one. She then got up and left. I thought I am not going to let her rattle me .... no way.
     
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I'm so used to people coming in and out of my room to observe that on several occassions I've ignored the person who came in when they actually needed me for something. LOL
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This is the way I think all observations should be done--what better way to get an idea of goes on in the classroom on a daily basis? Sounds like it went really well.
     
  15. Superteacher81

    Superteacher81 Comrade

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    Ok, I'm the unethical one here! I am confident in my teaching abilities but I hate observations! I get the sweaty palms and dry throat so I like to know ahead of time. I get nervous enough during the walk throughs that only last a few minutes! Sooo...on to the unethical part...I prep my kids for the observation! I tell what we are going to do and even some questions I might ask...:whistle:

    They know they are supposed to be quiet, no one out of their seats, etc. so it does feel like a "show", but hey I love getting great evaluations! :blush:

    (Superteacher81 is now running away from any administrator that may be lurking around :woot:)
     
  16. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Nov 28, 2007

    I teach Kindergarten and have "runners" (kids who want Mommy and RUN for the hills!).

    I hung a huge wind chime on my door so I'd hear if a runner left, but it always alerts me when someone is coming in too!!

    Kelly :)
     
  17. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Superteacher,

    I hate observations also even though they normally go ok. After our first observation I gave my kids the 411 on what I had better never see again. I also told them I would cancel all fun activities for the rest of the year including our Winter Holiday Party and the end of the year swimming party (with parent supervision of course). Needless to say they have decided that the rewards are much more worth it than ticking me off and having me take away their chances at fun. So overall they are doing pretty well, even my "behaviorally challenged ones". Several of them had me last year since I looped and lost some fun things when they chose not to act appropriately. They have informed the others that it's not worth it to make me mad.
     
  18. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I had my formal observation today, and it was great, I didn't expect anything unusual, but I do think it would be a more accurate observation if he just popped in. That being said, I would be freaking if I found someone I didn't expect in my room! I get a bit jumpy with someone I did expect!

    The other day, we started a new project that my kids keep in binders. I can't stand the constand clicking of the binders, so we do a clicker retirement ceremony where I let them click like crazy for 30 seconds, after that they can only click when I count to 3. It is really loud but they laugh like crazy. I turn around and there is the Kindergarten teacher and the principal in the doorway laughing-they had been walking down the hall and heard us!
     
  19. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    We have windows in our door so the principal often walks by and peeks in. I have my Christmas candy out right now so principal and vice principal have been stopping by to "check things out" (which always equals grabbing some cream drops or something else chocolatey! :D)
    My current principal went away for a while (compicated story) and we had the guy who was our then vice principal move up. He was a pretty regular visitor in the room. We were in the middle of making a huge food web in the room (the kids all had tags naming them and I was the sun and had started 5 different colors of yarn. We were tossing them across the room to those who were consuming our energy. So he walked in to that. Because there was a "little" learning noise going on I didn't hear my door. (The janitor keeps telling me he can oil it to get rid of the creaking - I won't let him!) He got a kick out of it, though, and decided to become a maggot and join in.
    I hate it when they walk in while you are in the middle of a tirade or getting on to kids. It's hard to shift gears that fast.
     
  20. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I love the phrase "learning noise"!!! We have a lot of that...
     
  21. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I've tried to teach my kids what to say if they are asked questions. We have to write our objectives on the board for each lesson. The idea is so that kids know what they're learning. Mine are in a pocket chart, and I point to the chart when I start the lesson. Sometimes I ask the kids "What do you say if Mrs. Principal walks in and asks you what you're learning?". They respond with the objective for that lesson. They really get a kick out of it. At anytime we could have a number of different principals walk in to observe. We are a training school for principals, which is nice for the new principals. A little nerve racking for the rest of us. I hate drive bys (that's what we call those pop ins). I still get really nervous. I just try to keep my cool and continue doing what I am.
    The one thing I hate is when our VP comes in just to talk to all the kids. Not really to observe, just to drop in. It gets the kids all worked up, and I'm usually in the middle of a lesson.
     
  22. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    There's one of those "elementary" words that we secondary people don't know. :confused: I had to sub for an elementary class one afternoon, and the sub plans said, "Johnny is a runner." I completely did NOT understand . . . and then the kiddos came back from their specials class, and BOOM . . . off he went. :eek: He was half way to town before they caught him. I learned a new word that day.
     
  23. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    La Profesora, so exactly when and what did you say to your students to get them to let you know? :haha:
     
  24. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    GREAT IDEA! :2up:
     
  25. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    I had the principal doing a walkthru and I was engrossed in the lecture and didn't notice. The kids were lookin' kinda squirmy, and I said "What's wrong with you guys all of a sudden?" They all turned around and looked at the principal, and I was like, "Oh, hi!" I felt so dumb! So I told the kids after he left to just raise their hands and yell, "Carbohydrates!" if that ever happened again, and they got a big kick out of that. Now they yell carbohydrates whenever ANYONE walks in.....
     
  26. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Smart! Love it!:2up:
     
  27. lupin43

    lupin43 Companion

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    Yesterday I was going over parallel and perpendicular lines. I had the kids hold up their arms and make both types. When I called out parallel and looked up I realized they looked like they were on a roller coaster. So, I yelled "ROLLERCOASTER," and screamed WOOOO! They died laughing and we continued. They wanted to do it, so after calling parallel I yelled rollercoaster again. THE WHOLE CLASS swayed and screamed like they were on a coaster. What I didn't realize was an entire team was walking by the room on the way to lunch. I bet my math class looked like fun to them. I'm sure they were talking about the crazy teacher later. :)
     
  28. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    :rofl:
    You are such a fun teacher!
     
  29. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Love it lupin!! That's great....
     
  30. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    See, you should teach the young kids, they are incredibly observant. Any time someone walks in they say "Someone's here"-even if you have already acknowledged the person!

    That is really sneaky, especially if she waited until someone left to slip in. But you know what, if I was an administrater, that's how I would do it. I don't think people are as genuine when they know they are being observed.

    I keep my shades open (otherwise, I just feel claustrophobic) and once noticed my principal standing in the courtyard with her coffee just watching the classes through the windows. I did the same thing - I wonder how long she's been there, what was my class doing?
     
  31. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    It would drive me crazy if I was told by students that someone was at the door every time someone was at the door. Interruptions drive me crazy... If someone comes in the door, they'll have to wait until I'm finished my thought.
     
  32. MsMaggs

    MsMaggs Comrade

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    I agree dfleming! My students ALWAYS let me know when someone is about to come in our room. Usually it's our principal and they say "Principal Alert!" It's kind of funny and sometimes I appreciate them letting me know that she's coming in, but usually I'm just irritated that they're interrupting my lesson! I always continue teaching no matter who comes in the room...if they're there to observe they will if they need something from me they'll wait until an appropriate time (or at least they should)!
     
  33. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Maybe it's me.

    But I teach with my door open. Anyone who wants to come by is welcome to do so: I once had the AP stop by and stay for the lesson, hanging out by the back door. (He later wrote it up because he enjoyed the class so much.) I honestly don't get flustered by observations and would hope that the kids would be themselves (OK: my 4th period would be their best selves) regardless of who was in the room.

    I think I"m pretty aware of what's going on in my room; I teach high school and they could get into some real michief if I weren't really on top of them. Plus I teach math and I'm up at the board the whole time, so I'm standing there looking at the class.

    All that said, I would be very surprised if someone were able to get into my class without me knowing it. It has never occurred to me to have a password because I can't imagine needing one.

    That's not meant to criticize any one else's teaching style; merely a comment on my own.
     
  34. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I generally teach with my door open too, unless something really noisy is going on in the hall. I do that for my own safety, so I can't be accused of anything, as a male in an elementary school.
     
  35. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    I generally teach with my door closed. I'm the only first grade class in a wing of third grade classes, and the teacher across from me has a rather noisy class. In addition, we often have a lot of "learning noise" (as someone said earlier) in our class, and I keep my door closed to keep her noise out and my noise in. And the third graders are on a different schedule than we are for lunch, specials, interventions, and other subjects they transition for, so they are usually changing classes in the hallway while we are in the middle of a lesson. Sometimes we won't close the door after we return from specials or lunch or something, but the kids in the back of the room are usually bothered by the outside noise and get up and quietly close the door.

    Our principal isn't really one for "drop-ins", but so far this year when he has dropped in he has interrupted the students and my lesson somewhat, so I'm glad it doesn't happen more often. I'd usually prefer to know when someone walks in my room, but I realize between sitting on the floor several times a day and bending over/squatting to work with the first graders, I rarely have my eyes on the door. The only times I really am able to see when someone is coming in for sure is (a) when I'm sitting at my desk or (b) during my reading time, because I'm sitting at my small group table in the back of the room right by the door.
     
  36. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    I also teach with my door open, but I have my window next to the door covered (someone put some kind of contact paper there in the past so the whole window looks like snot...ewwww)

    One day I was teaching, and next thing I know the superintendent was sitting in my room! He stayed for a half an hour! Even my principal didn't know he was in the building.

    I do know that our super is very vocal and if he saw something he didn't like he would have told me. :D
     
  37. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    I'm a loud lecturer! When I leave my door open, everyone gets annoyed because they have to learn Biology all day!!! I swear you can hear me in 50 different classrooms then :):):)
     
  38. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Alice, that's me too! I guess that's why I was soo surprised that I didn't realize she was there... I thought I saw everything.

    We are required to keep our doors closed, because of something with the way the heating and ac works in the schools. I also have absolutely no windows, even in the door. its a cave when I close the door.
     
  39. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    You are allowed to keep your door open? We have to keep our doors closed and locked at all times during the day. (Which is a pain when you have 17 kindergarteners going potty throughout the day.) Our new AP has gone to a bunch of safety conferences and part of it is keeping every door inside and out locked at all times. Some teachers have master keys so they don't interrupt but some just knock and wait for you. And I will admit that I have those kids that tell you "there's someone at the door" they'll tell you when the tv's on, they'll tell you someone's crying. They'll tell you everything and anything.
     
  40. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Hmmm... I won't have that problem. We're on the 2nd floor. :whistle:
     
  41. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    We keep our doors shut most of the time too. It actually helps to save alot of money on energy costs. I also like to keep my door shut because of noise from other classes walking by.
     

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