Hate formal snapshot walk-throughs...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JustMe, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 1, 2012

    We have formal snapshot walkthroughs and are provided the snapshot report after each one. I have a hard time accepting them, though. I feel teachers should be invited to comment on the report to clarify or elaborate on what was witnessed. I have had three formal such evaluations and they have all been completely positive with lovely comments. Still, I'm stuck on the most recent one.

    The report indicated students were coloring a picture which made it seem as though they were doing a basic coloring sheet or something. But that was not at all the case. It was a thoughtful and standards-based activity and I'm just not sure my evaluator recognized this because it was such a short visit (five minutes or less) and the person didn't circulate to look at the students' work. Again, the report was positive but I don't feel it was accurate. It was stated on the report that my activities matched my lesson plans and directly supported the objectives, but the person didn't look at my lesson plans. I think this person is just really relaxed and tries not to be a pain in the butt, but...well, I'd honestly rather be observed the entire class.

    Anyone else ever feel this way? I am NOT planning on meeting with this person to ensure the lesson was fully understood and appreciated, but I'm curious if anyone else has or just felt the desire to.
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Dec 1, 2012

    Our P explicitly communicated to us that we are invited to comment or elaborate on any evaluations in writing regardless if our comment is contradicting or more detail.

    I would definitely feel frustrated if I was in your case. =[
     
  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Dec 1, 2012

    The other day, my principal walked in to do an informal walkthrough. She normally comes in once or twice a week for 2-3 minutes.

    As soon as she walked in, I wished I could tell her, "Now's not the best time! Can you come back in like five minutes?"

    Obviously, though, I couldn't say that.

    We were getting ready to play a game we play every Thursday to get us ready for our Friday spelling test. I had just announced that we were going to play "Sparkle." http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Sparkle-(Spelling-Game)

    The kids were cheering (they love that game), they were transitioning from their seat to the carpet area, and they were chatty. She walked out before we even started playing the game.

    She probably left the classroom thinking, "What the heck was going on in there?"

    I felt like shooting an email to let her know why it was noisy and why the kids were standing up at the carpet area. Then I reminded myself that she has done countless walkthroughs this year and she already knows what kind of teacher I am; therefore, I shouldn't have to explain myself.
     
  5. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Dec 1, 2012

    I'm reminded daily there's a reason why they call them "walk throughs". They're just walking through. And whatever they see for the five minutes is grand--even if they come in while the kids are walking around the classroom singing...my P came in during that time.

    --some days you get stellar and fantastic moments, others, you get monkeys hanging from the ceiling. The reality of it all is just to say thanks and move on. Don't let the profectionist in you take over the monkey that needs to be let out once in a while. ;)
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We actually do meet with them afterward and I try very hard to temper my responses because my assessor doesn't like when people "argue" with her, but at the same time I can often explain why what she saw was not the whole picture. I don't mind criticism, but if it's not criticism that actually fits for me, it's really hard not to say something.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 1, 2012

    We have formal walk-throughs as well, but we meet with our observer after each one. It's crazy time consuming for our principal. In our contract, we are actually working on language about our informal walk-throughs and making sure that they are a certain length.
     
  8. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Dec 1, 2012

    With our new Compass evaluation we have a formal observation and an informal one. For the informal one, she chooses a time based on our lesson plans and comes in with no notice. With the formal we have a pre and post meeting with her. Before the post meeting she sends us her report so if we have anything to add we can bring it - such as an assessment given after, etc. She has been doing some practice walk throughs where she's been scripting so we can see what it's like. The other day she sat in my room during a science lesson on coastal land loss. She stated that my lesson plan showed that the kids would be doing an independent activity on a cause of land loss. I was able to show her a quick check I gave the day before that many of the kids hadn't passed. Because of that I changed what I did. That evidence supported my shift from the plans. She could document it and give me back any points I lost.
     
  9. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Dec 1, 2012

    One time my principal came in while I was standing on a chair holding a sand timer and the children were doing skip counting relay races. I'm sure the whole scene looked chaotic, but there were really good things going on and 100% student engagement.

    That's why they do walk-throughs frequently. It really is just supposed to be a snapshot. Will you be more formally evaluated later? Will you get to comment on that evaluation?
     
  10. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Dec 1, 2012

    We have walk throughs 2-3 times a week. My kids and I are so used to them, that they don't even notice anymore. It is not just our principals either-admin from the board office do walk throughs as well.
    I have told my P to come back-since she walked in once when my kids were lining up for recess. : )
    Our walk throughs can be added to our evaluation starting next school year.
    Young teacher guy- my kids love Sparkle too!!!!! They cheer as well.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 1, 2012

    I've only had three since the first of August so we don't have them frequently, but the principal has been in more than that. It's not that I think the P has an overall inaccurate feel for my teaching, and nothing but positive has been written and shared. Still, snapshots are not great tools in my opinion. There is too much leading up to and following any five minutes in a day to have written evaluations on those few minutes. And if the P doesn't even look at the work and instead just assume it's something it's not because Crayola has made an appearance, I am bothered by that. I guess I want credit for my lessons! :)

    Yes, I will be formally evaluated later and we will meet. Oh, that reminds me...I have had one walk-through and we met after that. I forgot about that. Also all positive. So we have:

    Snapshots with reports, no meeting.
    Walkthroughs with reports, with meeting.
    Formal evaluations, with meeting
     
  12. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Dec 1, 2012

    Because I am a new teacher, I will have three formal evaluations every year for the next two years. For a formal evaluation, there is a tone of paperwork before and after with a meeting before and after. She writes down everything that I do and asks if there is anything that needs to be changed. Then I have to choose something that I want to work on and set a time frame.

    My principal rarely visits my room outside of formal evaluations. She did however come in about a month ago. I teach music and my students had earned a reward for getting a certain amount of points for good behavior. I gave them choices for their reward and they voted. The students chose to have a Talent Day. Wouldn't you know that the principal would choose their reward day to come in. I believe that she walked in when a student was showing her finger knitting. The principal was testing out a new evaluation program and started taking pictures. It was just embarassing because it was not what we normally do and was the first "free time" we had all year!
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Luckily for us, walkthroughs don't go in any files and don't "count" as part of our actual observation. They're supposed to be just for feedback. I still don't like them though. It's impossible to tell what's really going on in just a couple of minutes. Often people get comments like, "Why don't you have the kids do_________" where if the observer had stayed five more minutes, she would have seen them doing exactly that. At my previous school they always came in and left really positive comments. They were actually kind of a morale booster. Here everyone is afraid of them.
     
  14. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Dec 2, 2012

    I used to never mind walk-throughs, but I'm over them this year.

    They last 10 minutes. If you don't drop everything and review the objective and scale within those 10 minutes, you get marked down. Even if you already did it at the beginning of class. Even if you can go back and provide evidence that it had already been covered that day.

    My district is knows no boundaries in idiocy.
     
  15. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Dec 2, 2012

    Ps were teachers once too. While it would be great to teach 24-7, it just isn't possible or feasible. Kids need some downtime too. Transitions are great for giving kids that breath of fresh air! :whistle:
     

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