New evaluation standard - Demonstrates commitment of personal time to student needs.

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by midwestteacher, Jan 4, 2011.

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  1. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    We were given a copy of the new summative evaluation form that the district is going to be using for teacher evaluations.
    Under Performance Area C: the standard is "Demonstrates commitment of personal time to student needs."
    Each teacher is scored from a 1 to a 5 on each standard. On this standard a "1" is "Works during the contracted school day."
    It then goes all the way up to a "5" - Spends considerable time outside of the contracted school day for teacher/parent meetings, etc.

    What other profession gives you a contract and then gives you a bad evaluation for not working outside of your contracted hours for no pay?
    I spend much more time at school than is required, but this evaluation criteria burns my chops a little.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'd be really upset if I saw this evaluation criteria. Do you have a union?
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    What if the point of this were not to give a bad evaluation to those who don't work outside contracted hours, but rather to allow a better evaluation for those who do?
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    In my district, getting a 0, 1, or 2 in any two areas on your annual evaluation is grounds for non-renewal. The way this one is worded, you'd almost certainly get a 1 or 2 on it, especially if you had a second job or big family commitments.
     
  6. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    We are not a union state.
     
  7. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    The worst part about things like this is that it's so subjective. What is a "considerable" amount? Who makes that determination? You? The students? The parents? That's so frustrating. :/
     
  8. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    I think the rating scale is off. For instance, fulfilling the times of your contract means you only get a one? I think a one should be for considerable absences or tardiness, or something like that, although that opens up a can of worms. Plus, how can they measure how much is considerable time spent outside of class? I think it would be time spent on campus, always being prepared, time spent going to after school events,etc. But it seems pretty subjective.
     
  9. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    I guess the principal does since he is the one doing the evaluation. Maybe I need to keep a calendar and put my hours on it and all the weekends and evenings that I spend doing school stuff.

    Monday, December 2nd - 8:00 to 3:40 at school
    phone call at home from parent - 7:35 to 7:50
    Monday, December 27th - at school from 11:30 to 12:30 to water greenhouse
    August 19th - October 17th - every school day at school until 5:00
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    That sounds like a good way to CYA. What a crummy evaluation standard, even for those who sleep overnight in their classrooms!
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    And be sure to log all your A to Z time! It's collaboration with other teaching professionals!
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Do you mean allowing those who get an otherwise crummy evaluation to gain a few points back? Because I still think that is unfair and gives a misrepresentation of the teacher's ability.
     
  13. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    What does your principal says about how that standard will be interpreted?
     
  14. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    "This is just a rough draft and we haven't set things in stone yet."
     
  15. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    ugh that would make me mad. what about if you have a family?!?
     
  16. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    In the private sector employees who go above and beyond their minimum requirements are rewarded. I find it odd that teachers would be upset by being rated "works to the contract level" if that is all they are aiming for.

    Personally, I'm far more offended that my evalution has a box for "Posts standard on the board." At least it is objective!
     
  17. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Not to mention those without families might have other obligations as well. (graduate classes, second jobs,etc.)
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't think that it's bad to reward teachers for going above and beyond, but I do think it's bad to penalize teachers for working to the terms of their contract. A "1" on an evaluation means that the teacher is performing at an unsatisfactory level, and I don't think it's unsatisfactory to be working to the terms of one's contract. Performing the work outlined in the contract should at least equal a "Satisfactory" rating.
     
  19. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    :yeahthat:
    Its like you pulled the words from my brain and typed them in this thread. If your admin. likes you, it's a 5. If they don't, you probably get a 1. Ugh.
     
  20. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    What if you sit on your butt in your room until 6 every day listening to punk rock and working on your bicycle.

    Just wondering. I know someone who does this.
     
  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    This would be a great case for classroom inefficiency, wouldn't it? Why should I work hard to get my planning done in a reasonable amount of time if I'll be penalized for it? It's a much better idea to do a little work, hit the Twitter feeds, go back...
     
  22. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    It is ridiculous to be punished for working to the terms of the your contract. If I see that aggravating parent in the grocery store that corners me and rants about the school for 1/2 hour. Does that count? I had a parent follow me from the farm store to the grocery store and stand in my car door so I can't leave. She has done this. She has also called me at home numerous times to complain about how stupid everyone at the school is and how we need to just clean house and start over.
     
  23. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Who could that be?
     
  24. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I was thinking the same thing .... :whistle:
     
  25. treysmom

    treysmom Comrade

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    I am someone who does spend a lot of extra time at school and volunteer for extra activities--fitness night, PTA,etc. But does that make me a better teacher? NO! I just happen to be able to do it-no spouse or kids at home. Just a thought... is the principal evaluated by how much he/she spends working outside of the contracted time? Hmmmmm.....
     
  26. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I agree, Treysmom, just because someone attends those out of school activites doesn't make them a better teacher (and of course the opposite is true, too.) What gets me is the *guilt* that administrators and public officials like to make teachers feel. I do love my kids, and I do love my job, but I shouldn't have to sacrifice time with my family or even time for myself to prove that!
     
  27. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    And how do you prove it? I am a teacher that comes in about 30 mins before school starts but I leave right at the end of day bell--I have 2 little kids and with a longer school day I already don't get home until almost 5 and they are in bed by 7:30.

    However, I am doing planning, grading and brainstorming/research from about 8-10 every night. But how do you prove that? I think it shows in my teaching and preparedness but if you looked at my time sheet it looks like I just fly out the door every day at 3:45 with no cares.
     
  28. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    This actually angers me...just the thought.
     
  29. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I'd really like to know how we ought to be evaluated then if everything is either subjective or "out of our hands."

    And where was it stated that a 1 rating on this scale meant anything other than exactly what it says which is "meets contract requirements?"
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This would be a union issue for my district.
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    It's part of a whole evaluation...I feel it's safe to assume—although this could of course be incorrect—the scale of one through five is used for the entire evaluation. On such a scale a one indicates poor quality, lack of effectiveness, and so forth. So the teacher who does what his or her contract requires him or her to do, which is all one has to do, would receive a poor mark on this specific standard. That's not okay.
     
  32. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Something tells me, if this went to court, that it would be deemed illegal. Wage and hour laws would have to say something about this. 3Sons, what's your take?
     
  33. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Mine, too. Sorry you don't have a union, OP.
     
  34. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I just did a professional development training this weekend and the district encouraged teachers to lead balanced lives - that spending too much time at work isn't healthy and research shows that teachers who spend the most time at work are more likely to be involved in inappropriate relationships and sexual harassment because they have no lives and invest too much emotionally in their work and their students. They don't have good boundaries between their personal life and professional lives because work is their life.

    Interesting that your district seems to be ignoring the importance of teachers having time off to destress, etc.
     
  35. silvia

    silvia Rookie

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    As if we already don't have enough to do, like teach our kids! Geez!
     
  36. G00d d00bie

    G00d d00bie Rookie

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    For some reason this reminds of how I should not have tried to do what I feel needs doing as well as everything I am supposed to do. What I think is important (like teaching and preparing to teach) might not necessairly be the best. Maybe I should spend less time teaching, be more of a people person and learn to assert myself, spend time with parents in an assertive way and help them (parent and child). Maybe I could help them to understand there should be a certain amount of time to learn the content and if it can't be learned in that amount of time without special meetings, etc., then it might not be for the student. I guess that might result in fewer students taking my courses and I should take a pay cut since I would be teaching fewer students.
    As I write, I guess it really does revolve around money. I wonder if the goal is to teach students or to keep students.
     
  37. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    As others have mentioned, the rating scale seems off -- how would you rate someone who has not fulfilled the contract terms 100% (coming in late, for example)? You can't give them less than a one, even though you may well be keeping them on staff.

    As far as using committment of personal time as an evaluation tool, I think it's generally legal -- though a union would surely fight it and there are some reasonable arguments against it in the case of teacher contracts (particularly in non-union states).

    If you consider any renewable contract -- your contract with a cable company, for example, you may well consider the level of customer service they give above and beyond what's specified in the contract when deciding whether to continue paying them for your TV service for next year. They may not be required to come to your house to pick up a broken cable box, for example, but if they do it just as a matter of course you might look more favorably on them.

    Similarly, a teacher who continually goes above and beyond the terms of their contract in serving children probably deserves to have that reflected in some manner in their evaluation.

    There is something quite unpalatable about this, though. A huge difference between the cable TV contract and the teacher's employment contract is that the teacher's contract is one of adhesion. Essentially, it's take it or leave it, and the employer gets to modify the terms at will with much greater power than the individual teacher. I'm willing to bet that unions, with sufficient funds to employ lawyers to extensively review contracts each year, are rather specific about how teachers can be evaluated. In non-union states where a teacher may be simply signing a contract or may be giving it to a single lawyer for review and has no power to negotiate terms, specifics regarding evaluations may be glossed over or simply given to the discretion of the school. Further, this doesn't look like merely a means to reward outstanding performance, but to push everyone to do more work outside the contract through an implied threat.

    The only good thing about such contracts of adhesion is that they're supposed to be interpreted in favor of the one who didn't draft it (i.e., if the school writes it in such a way that there are multiple interpretations, you should be able to pick the interpretation that most favors yourself).

    I would suggest you document your work in a daily (or at least weekly) diary. Keep it yourself with the ability to send a copy to the reviewer shortly before evaluations (so preferably on computer) and note that they're records you keep in the ordinary course of your work (which makes them business records, and hence admissible under rules of evidence if ever necessary). That's the "proof" you need.

    ETA:

    I didn't really address mmswm's question about wages and hours, treating this as a contract question rather than an employment law question. Her implication is potentially valid, though. Employment regulations could invalidate this in some manner (either for all employees in Missouri, or state employees, or potentially even teacher-specific regulation). I can't really speak directly to it because while I know a fair bit of contract law, I know very little employment law, and because employment law usually varies by state (with some overarching exceptions such as Federal minimum wage).

    You might also investigate whether other districts in the state are doing this, or if it's just your district.
     
  38. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Very good explanation, 3Sons.
     
  39. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    That's me, too...I work a lot of extra hours, but I don't think I'm better than everyone because I do.

    That is just ridiculous that you're being evaluated on that.
     
  40. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think that is absolutely absurd and maddening. Why in the world would you be evaluated based on work done outside your contract???If it's not in the contract, then you shouldn't have to do it. I agree with the posts about living balanced lives as teachers. We have to, if not for our own survival. Now you are expected to go above and beyond your call of duty? Many of us do, and that's great, and it's great when it is recognized, but it is horrible when a school is actually expecting that you do more than you should. What about the pay to compensate your extra time? No, you won't get it.I try to do as much as possible at school because otherwise I would go crazy, and probably would end up leaving teaching. Good gosh, that's just insane...
     
  41. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    According to the scale - 1 is Detrimental to student success and 5 is Grealty contributing to student success. So, if I get a 1 on this standard, that means I am contributing to student failure by not spending loads of extra time outside of contract hours making myself available to students and parents.
     
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