Guidance please? How to write response...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by heavens54, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Jun 10, 2012

    To my principal concerning my evaluation. Suffice it to say it came out of the blue, is very unfair, includes charges that have never been brought to my attention prior to the evaluation. UGH. Nontheless, I need to write an intellegent response. I'm not sure how to start. I Googled this yesterday and didn't really find any guidance in this area.

    I need help with tone, how much to address, how not to sound too defensive or innappropriate, and how to fix the situation.

    They didn't teach us this in my program or in the support after teaching program. Not sure how to tackle this.

    Anyone? HELP? Please? Need to write it today. Thanks.
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jun 10, 2012

    Why don't you post your rough draft?
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jun 10, 2012

    If you don't know where to start the perfect letter, just start writing an imperfect one. Hit all the points you want to hit. Then revise and revise and revise again. Post a draft here and you'll be sure to get lots of opinions on what you already have.
     
  5. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Jun 10, 2012

    Start with a list. Don't even worry about complete sentences at this point. Then you can decide which items to tackle in your letter.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I would start with writing about your classroom and the strong points that you have shown.

    Then I would addresses each unfair charge, especially those that are just untrue.

    Finally, I would provide an action plan for anything that was founded.
     
  7. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 10, 2012

    Good advice so far; if you are comfortable doing so I would also run it by your union rep.
     
  8. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I don't have one...we aren't union.
     
  9. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Well, run it by someone you trust before submitting it. good luck!
     
  10. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Jun 11, 2012

    If there is something on the evaluation that you have never heard about before, what is the best way to express this in the response letter? "this is new to me", "I haven't heard this complaint before the evaluation" etc. Is there a better way to state this? This would apply to about six statements (charges? complaints? points? What would these be called?) Thanks.
     
  11. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Jun 11, 2012

    I would write something like: Prior to the evaluation on [insert date here], I was not informed that [insert complaint here].

    Since you have several points, it may be more organized (and help the reader follow your thoughts) if you end the above statement with a colon and then list out the complaints in bullet points.
     
  12. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Jun 11, 2012

    Thank you. I don't understand why there is so little info on the web or in my teacher books, teacher support program books on how to deal with this situation. I need a model, just like my kids!

    Any tips/advice on what NOT to do or say? OK, that list would be way too long, right?

    I want to sound professional, defend myself a bit but not sound defensive, have some sound evidence to support my position, and offer some suggestions on how I plan to remedy the situation.

    Some of the points are valid, about half are complaints that I have never heard before. So much of this is coming from one parent, so it gets placed in my evaluation. Not fair.

    Thanks all for your help.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jun 11, 2012

    What you are looking for is communication savy, not something that is strictly a teacher issue. People in all professions are reviewed and often dinged for things they didn't see coming or have never been told about. This is nothing new to the working world.

    What you should be looking for is general communication skills. How to write different business communications. This is a job skill, not a teacher skill.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 11, 2012

    Do you need to reply in writing? Can you sit down with your principal to have this discussion?
     
  15. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jun 11, 2012

    My advise would be to keep it short and not sound whiney. Don't do all the points you don't agree with - only if you got unsatisfactory. Have you been offered a position in the fall? If so, it doesn't really matter. No future employer ever sees them unless it is an administrator in your district. Around here they aren't allowed to give you excellent at eveything, so they always choose a few to give you average ratings for, whether that is fair or not.

    I am betting you got it out of the blue because the principal hasn't been doing his job and had to get them all done or look bad with his boss. I just got one a couple of weeks ago - a year late, with no formal observation and with only 1 visit in 3 years. It was fine but it is frustrating. Good luck.
     
  16. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 11, 2012

    Your plan sounds good. I wouldn't point all the blame to one parent or on your administrator.
     
  17. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I am hoping to do both...
     
  18. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    [QUOTE
    I am betting you got it out of the blue because the principal hasn't been doing his job and had to get them all done or look bad with his boss. I just got one a couple of weeks ago - a year late, with no formal observation and with only 1 visit in 3 years. It was fine but it is frustrating. Good luck.[/QUOTE]

    Exactly the case here.
     
  19. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Yes, I am keeping it vague, just like my evaluation.
     
  20. COMrs.S

    COMrs.S Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2012

    Heavens54,
    I know you mentioned that you do not have a union, but I would highly recommend getting a third party to just listen and document this meeting (if you can). This third party could be a lead teacher, another administrator, or someone else that you could trust with this issue.
    Also, if you have any proof of observations, walk-through forms, positive parent emails etc. bring those along as well.
    I've never been in this situation, but one of my colleagues has. It is not fun! I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this. Good luck!:)
     
  21. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 12, 2012

    I agree with bringing an documentation that you have. Even bring your prior evaluations.
     
  22. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    This is my first and only evaluation in two years. Small school. I was under the impression going in that everything was fine and admin was happy with my performance.
     
  23. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Wow! Our union states that if we are not evaluated as per our contract, it is considered that we have the highest level on our evaluation system.
     
  24. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Jun 23, 2012

    I submitted a general letter stating that I knew of very few of the concerns until I read the evaluation. I said it caught me by surprise and I was unaware. I also said had I been aware I would correct the concern. If I know when the concern arises, I can correct at that time. I plan to keep an eye on all concerns so that I don't let anyone down.

    I never heard another word about it. I also asked to discuss the evaluation with P before school got out, but heard nothing either. So, all seems calm. Isn't a very productive way to enforce change or improvement, imo...

    Thanks all for your help on this.
     
  25. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 24, 2012

    Wow, good luck! I would continue to try to sit down with the P so that there are no surprises next year.
     

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