Discussion in 'General Education' started by Genmai, Feb 26, 2010.
Feb 26, 2010
I like the peer evaluation model but combined with principal evaluations. I don't think one person should be responsible for deeming you an effective teacher. Too much room there for things to get messy and personal.
I agree with that but the first 3 years is a great time to weed out the ones that cannot do it. Many quit on their own but those that keep showing up for just a paycheck can usually be sent down the road before that 4th year w/o any problem.
There should be something. There are a lot of school districts around here that are so political. They hire people based on who they know and not what they know. It's really sad because you get some really bad teachers in classrooms and the ones sufferings are the kids.
I subbed in classrooms (elementary) where there was no work one the walls (I mean NOTHING). Nothing planned. You could just tell the teacher didn't want to be there. I knew too many people in college that chose the profession because they had an easy in and wanted summers off.
I don't know how to properly regulate this, but some outside source should be checking into school districts. Especially those that have 10+ elementary schools and miraculously never post openings.
Hmm, I think I just went off on a tangent LOL.
Sadly, I know a lot of people like this. I'm not against someone getting a job with an in if they're qualified, but the people I know as you do in that position, are lazy and don't put in any effort. I know these people will get jobs before I do or someone more qualifed. Of course people are aware of this, but no one wants to do anything. Then, they wonder why they have teachers who are ineffective...
Most teachers who choose teaching because they want the summers off are ineffective and don't last long...in my system it takes 3 years to get tenure...during those 3 years,new teachers are mentored for one year by a colleague and formally observed 4 times per year (P, VP and supe- P does 2). Informally, administrators drop by, observe you managing your class in the hallways, assemblies, etc. In my district, we don't keep lazy ineffective teachers, even if they have an 'in'...An 'in' may help you get an interview- in my district, it doesn't get you the job and it doesn't keep the job for you...
I think the problem is that, except in the worst cases, "bad" is in the eye of the beholder.
Ask most of the 6 kids I spoke to at parent conferences, and I'm guessing more than one will think I'm a "bad"teacher-- they don't think they would be struggling in my class if I weren't.
But ask all those kids who have A's and B's (and a few from last night) and you'll get a VERY different opinon.
I agree with adding a peer evaluation to the principal's evaluation. But the problem with peer evaluation is finding time for that teacher to go in and observe the other teacher/s.
But something has to be done about ineffective teachers.
Peer evals are helpful if they are kept between the teachers- the info should not be passed on to admin.
Feb 27, 2010
I also think there should more than one person making the judgment. However, I know in our school appearances can be deceiving. There are teachers who people think are really good teachers, but year after year their kids aren't learning anything. Our Teacher of the Year last year comes late every day, leaves at the bell, is on the cell phone all the time, gives the kids worksheets after worksheets (in Kinder), stays out at recess for an hour talking with other teachers. My favorite part-this year I was so impressed she had new vocabulary up on the first week of school - those same words are still there. She's fun and the kids like her, it looks like she's doing something, but looking closely-she's really not an effective teacher.
One of our grade levels retained 15 kids last year, they are wanting to retain another 15 this year because they haven't passed a high frequency word eval. Hello? Someone is not doing their job. And our admin sees it, but they don't do anything about it. That's why I'm really not against policies of more evaluations-maybe someone will wake up.
Well I think that the ongoing evals should be kept between the teachers, but the overall recommendation needs to go to Admin. How else are they supposed to know if the teacher is making good progress, open to the suggestions of the mentor teacher, or seriously lacking in classroom management.
Well, and this is not necessarily about "bad" teachers, but...
the pay scale is all wrong--it (the pay scale) rewards longevity, not necessarily performance.
If you were able to just look into a cross-section of the teaching force, I would guess that the quote-unquote best teachers are in the 5-15 year range. In that general time span, passion meets experience, enthusiasm, willingness to try, learn, all that. (Which is not to say that many older teachers don't have that anymore.) But if you then compare it to the pay scale, the oldest (i.e. most years) teachers make the highest salary.
This fact makes for a couple situations:
1) It creates an environment where good enough is tolerated in many ways. Teachers can just report and do their job, year after year, knowing that the more years they survive, the better they will be compensated.
2) It makes it very difficult for those older teachers (even the good ones) to walk away. If you are 62 years old, how can you turn down 80k a year doing something you can do in your sleep?
If you could somehow pay according to performance, I bet that you would see something of a pyramiding of the salaries... where the middle-year'd teachers make the most money--and rightfully so.
Administrators should collect lesson plans, do drop bys, formal observations, informal observations...they could also sit in on team meetings and mentorship meetings. I have mentored several non-tenured teachers...I saw my role as supporting them, informing them, acting as a sounding board, offering advice, coaching them...but not 'reporting' on them back to admin. One of the teachers I mentored had SERIOUS issues with management. The admin was quite aware of the problems without me stepping in and offered me release time from my own class to peer coach my mentee...Administrators need to be AWARE of what is going on in classrooms- the good ones are.
That makes up a good point about admin. With all this focus on teacher quality, there hasn't been as much talk on admin quality. Perhaps we should look at how effective principals are as well. I know my principal wasn't a teacher for all that long before she became principal. What makes her the expert?
I will NEVER understand that!!!
I also don't understand how most administrators are completely out of the classroom.
Somehow the principal of my school manages to take care of the 2550 kids in his care, a faculty of about 150 full time teachers, and still teach 2 classes a day. Likewise the AP, the deans, the director of Guidance and every other administrator in the building.
They know the kids, they know what we're going through-- they're right there in the trenches with us.
I would love a system of peer review. I was a TA for a teacher whose daily lessons for each class (middle school) were either worksheets or reading chapters from the textbook. Every. Single. Day. The teacher spent more time on her laptop than she did with her students.
Lo and behold in her evaluation day, she pulled out all of the stops. The lesson was interactive, complex, and real learning took place. I overheard the conference after and the principal was raving over how impressed she was.
She was an ineffective teacher, but because the principal wasn't a roamer and only saw the teachers during evaluations, nothing was done to weed anyone out. Plus, why would the principal want any input from a TA? I only had one Master's degree at the time.
I think peer review might potentially create a popularity or amosity atmosphere. People's reputation can often be based on hearsay. Plus how could we say bad things about our good friends and so forth. Nope, I'm with improving admin quality and having them be more aware. We need to be more cooperative and be a team, not worry about what others are reporting about us.
Because that's not a TA's job. Much like a principal would never ask another teacher that happens to have their Masters to assess my teaching. Education has nothing to do with it, imo.
Exactly. I agree. Everyone should be under the microscope. Not just teachers.
I observe my teachers informally usually once a month. Lately, I've been checking in with my old timers, more than the ones with 5 experience, because I've noticed they are just "coasting."
Not only that, but the administration will get larger bonuses than the teachers (in many cases) based on the performance rating the TEACHERS get.
Feb 28, 2010
I know... I think my post was more of a vent than reality. It just always made me so angry that this teacher got away with mindless textbook work, but would always WOW the principal on evaluation day to look like the greatest teacher ever. It was also the fault of the principal who never poked her head into rooms. She really had no idea what was going on in her school.
I was looking so hard for teaching job because I really wanted to actually teach, and this great profession was wasted on a lazy teacher. I would have loved to have been able to share my observations with the principal!!!
I understand Windy City.... it can definitely be frustrating... especially when you're waiting in the wings!
Mar 1, 2010
I think in other countries the administrators do often teach - the headmaster is not only an admin but also has teaching duties as well. Don't know how they manage that
Examples like this certainly make the case for unannounced observations. Think of all the horse-and-pony shows administrators would miss!!!
Windy City, my old Chem teacher was the same way.
My biggest thing for me is seeing a few teachers who could retire, but are holding out for a little bit more money and they have no reason to stay teaching, they do sub par job and are just coasting, but there is nothing the district can do unless they like hit a kid
Mar 4, 2010
If anyone is interested a really interesting book on effective teaching is called The Teaching Gap. I read it this weekend and couldn't put it down. It focuses on teaching not teachers but it really gave me some good ideas for how to approach my classroom.