Dealing with bad evaluations

Discussion in 'General Education' started by lillycat, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. lillycat

    lillycat Rookie

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    Jan 30, 2016

    My supervising principal e-mailed me to come to her office to discuss my two informal observations. She told me they were unacceptable for multiple reasons. I do know that a lot of the reasons she gave me were valid. I have gotten lazy with my planning. Some of the things she said, however, I feel were not a fair conclusion to make after observing me two times for a total of twenty five minutes on what were probably the two worst lessons I've had over the year. I've had so many good lessons compared to the two or three bad ones that have been observed.

    I am trying to leave the district I'm at. I am a K-12 music teacher. I have to commute 30 miles every day during my conference period, leaving me with effectively no conference period. They are adding more and more classes for me to teach every year. I started this year K-12 at one school and K-2 at the other. After Christmas it became K-3, and I was told in this same meeting next year I would be K-5. I have one 30 minute slot with no class during the week that serves as my only planning time.

    What worries me is that I'm now afraid my supervisor sees me as lazy. If I'm trying to get another job and my supervisor is giving me a bad rating, I feel like I'll never be able to leave. I don't know what to do. I have four supervising principals and am hardly ever observed. I feel like I am about to have a nervous breakdown and have barely been able to stop crying since my meeting.

    I was told to log in to our evaluation website to see what she had posted. The only thing there were lists of everything I did wrong, right down to a complaint about my students being seated in the floor (this is not at all uncommon for Elementary music classrooms). I feel like I have ruined my chances at ever getting into a better situation unless I can show my supervisor that what she has seen is not a good indicator of my teaching abilities. I don't know what to do. I admit that I have plenty of faults. I am not a very organized planner. I can be lazy. That isn't, however, all there is to me.

    I guess my question is how can I turn this around? I have gotten so frustrated with this job that I haven't been trying my best. I'm afraid I've made a bad impression I can't get rid of. Any help is appreciated.
     
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  3. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Jan 30, 2016

    I would go to my principal and tell her that I want to improve and am working on the things she identified. I would then plan an amazing lesson and invite her back to observe. If she notices even a few improvements she would know that you are trying. Don't worry about getting the next job right now. Just be amazing at this one. I'm sure you are feeling burned out with all of those classes but hang in there. You can do!

    I teach elementary music and my students sit on the floor. We need the space for movement and to play circle singing games. They have two assigned spots: ABC Circle (sitting alphabetical by first name) and student stack (in rows in front of my whiteboard). I think you just need to demonstrate why there is a need to sit on the floor.
     
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  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 30, 2016

    The best part of your post indicates that you are reflecting on what she had to say, considering the validity, and considering ways to be the better teacher you want to be.. You need to take the comments to heart, and then approach the principal with changes that you believe will alleviate her concerns, but listen to her response to your plan. She may have suggestions that would be more efficient, but keeping the lines of communication open without becoming defensive will go a long way towards getting you back on track. It is certainly worth a shot.
     
  5. lillycat

    lillycat Rookie

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    Jan 30, 2016

    I e-mailed my supervisor telling her I would be changing the way I do my plans. I just have a hard time not taking things personally, I always have. I also have a pretty detailed system for why my kids sit where they do. Should I explain that to her?
     
  6. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Jan 31, 2016

    About sitting, different principals have different ideas about how things should be done. I was curious if this is in a public or private school. Sometimes private schools have certain philosophies regarding how students should be seated and other forms of decorum. Regardless, if the principal is expecting something out of the ordinary, I question why she hadn't made it known to you prior to the evaluation; you can't be expected to read her mind. Some thoughts I've learned about planning, I would set a specific time each week from my own out-of-school time to plan. Personally, I enjoy going overboard and researching my plans, but in doing so, if I didn't set limits for myself I'd run out of time. I always had to keep in mind that I had to have the basics in place, then I could free myself to explore other additions and ideas. For myself, I used the computer to print out required block plans that we turned in to the principal, but I would write additional notes in my own personal plans, so I wouldn't forget anything. You're in my thoughts and prayers! I hope your next evaluation is stellar! Your concern above shows that you are a marvelous teacher.
     
  7. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I don't think I would argue the point right now. Has she seen your seating plan in action? My lessons would never work with students sitting in chairs and I think that anyone observing would quickly figure that out. Just let her observe your classes doing a good job with it. If it comes up again, I would explain the seating. Right now I would just show that I am reflecting and changing.
     
  8. lillycat

    lillycat Rookie

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    Jan 31, 2016

    Thanks for the replies. I'm feeling better now. I still haven't had my formal observation, which is what really counts. This may be a blessing in disguise in the long run.
     
  9. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Feb 3, 2016

    I'm just going to say thing. It is refreshing to hear of a principal to be holding the music teacher accountable for her career. At my school the music teacher gets away with a lot of stuff because she is a beloved member of the staff. She doesn't teach a thing about music, or art. You can walk into her room on any given day and the kids will be watching a video. She does have them perform a few times a year but the last few years the performances have been more like a karaoke bar than a school performance. She has standards that she is supposed to be accountable for and she is not held to them. It really irks me!!!!
     

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